More than 1,200 Calif. Churches Vow to Reopen by May 31, Regardless of Whether Gov. Newsom Allows It

By Craig Bannister | May 22, 2020 | 11:31am EDT
(Getty Images/Sandy Huffaker/AFP)

More than 1,200 religious groups across California have agreed to reopen services by May 31, 2020, even if Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to prohibit such large gatherings.

The religious groups have joined forces in the Advocates for Faith and Freedom movement, which launched the agreement petition. On Friday, Robert Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom discussed the movement on Fox & Friends First, joined by Pastor Jack Hibbs from Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and Rabbi Michael Barclay from Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village.

Tyler said he believes the Advocates for Faith and Freedom movement has prompted Gov. Newsom to begin insinuating that he may soon reopen churches before than he had initially planned:

“This movement started when the governor said that it was months off before churches would actually be coming back together. Frankly, this movement of these churches that have come together is, I believe, what has actually caused the governor to begin rethinking his position about churches.”

But, Pastor Hibbs was more skeptical, saying Gov. Newsom has “kept kicking the churches down the road,” ever since President Donald Trump gave governors the authority to dictate restrictions in their states:

“Then, it went under the control, under the oversight of our governors. He failed to address the churches – kept kicking the churches down the road and wouldn’t address the them, wouldn’t acknowledge.”

Rabbi Barclay said that, while he does stream his services, Orthodox Jews in California are still being unfairly forced to break either civil law or Jewish law:

“If you’re very observant, you can’t use electricity on the Sabbath, which prohibits you from streaming it – forces the observant Jew to make the decision: do I break the civil law and come to a service, or do I break the Jewish law and watch it online? And, that’s not fair.”

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