ACLJ Defending Religious Liberty Against New California Singing Ban That Specifically Aims To Silence Churches Worshiping


Jordan Sekulow

July 7, 2020

3 min read

Religious Liberty



“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” ~ Psalm 100:2

Caution: The actions in this verse are no longer permissible in the state of California.

As part of tightened restrictions that the state claims are necessary to stop the surge in Coronavirus cases, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a temporary ban on singing in church worship services. The ACLJ is taking direct legal action to fight this intolerable attack on religious liberty.

Yes, we are living in unprecedented times, as the Coronavirus pandemic is drastically affecting the way we have to live our lives. However, the radical Left seems to have decided that COVID-19 is the perfect excuse to hide behind in order to launch an all-out attack on religion and traditional American values.

We already told you how one radical leftist group – funded by notoriously liberal billionaire George Soros – claimed that the Coronavirus was justification to “abolish” traditional families. Now the Left clearly has its sights set on the Church.

As the new California guidelines state:

Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower. Local Health Officers are advised to consider appropriate limitations on outdoor attendance capacities, factoring their jurisdiction's key COVID-19 health indicators. At a minimum, outdoor attendance should be limited naturally through implementation of strict physical distancing measures of a minimum of six feet between attendees from different households, in addition to other relevant protocols within this document.

They are specifically targeting churches with a ban on singing – NO SINGING ALLOWED – while leaving protests completely unregulated. And this isn’t just a recommendation. Notice the word “must.” As a lawyer, I can tell you that is a very important word. It’s a mandate. It’s a requirement. The full force of the coercive power of government stands behind it and it’s aimed directly at the Church.

This is unveiled targeted harassment of churches and Christians. These new guidelines are singling out churches. What will the next guidelines state? Churches can be open, but the minister is not allowed to speak in front of the congregation?  

California pastors are speaking out, rightly calling this ban on worship services “completely discriminatory.” We’ve recently seen thousands of protesters marching and chanting in the streets of California. Where is Governor Newsom’s new guideline requiring them to march without chanting?

California’s actions are completely indefensible and unconstitutional.

The ACLJ exists to defend the religious liberty of all Americans and believers around the world. That’s why our legal team is preparing to file a lawsuit against the state of California and Governor Newsom’s ban on singing in churches as a direct violation of religious liberty.

We can’t stand by and watch as California strips its believers of their God-given right to raise their voices in worship and praise - especially at a time when we all need it more than ever.

Singing and worship are an integral part of our faith. Singing is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible. And in Luke 19:40, when the Pharisees tried to order Jesus to silence His disciples, Jesus responded: “[I]f they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.”

We will not let leftist bureaucrats snatch the voices of faithful believers who want to worship the way they are called, and constitutionally protected, to do.