A California judge has granted a temporary restraining order against Godspeak Calvary Chapel and its Pastor Rob McCoy for holding in-person services in violation of COVID-19 health orders.  Ventura County Superior Court granted the order on Friday requiring McCoy and the church to adhere to statewide and county public health orders stipulating that church services be held outdoors with masks and social distancing or online, according to officials. On Wednesday, Ventura County officials sued McCoy and his church for holding in-person services of up to 200 people after the church decided to return to normal services. The church had adhered to all social distancing regulations since Palm Sunday but recently decided to lift its restrictions on parishioners. McCoy announced in a video message Friday that he will continue to hold indoor services. “I wish it didn’t have to come to this, I really do, but we will be violating the judge’s order. … We will be open this Sunday.” He told church members, “Come to church, and if you’re one of the first thousand, you win a prize. You will get a citation. It will be a misdemeanor. It will go on your record; be mindful of that.” McCoy named Supervisor Linda Parks instigated the legal action against the church. "She's a remarkably resilient woman, but I don't understand why she would do this an

 
 

The Government must legislate to ensure freedom of speech is protected in university students’ unions, a leading think tank has said. A report by the influential Policy Exchange said Parliament needed to make current legislation clearer and more robust, and impress upon universities and colleges their duty to ensure academic freedom and freedom of speech. In recent years, students’ unions in England have denied pro-life and Christian student groups access to funding, and facilities such as stalls at freshers’ fairs. The report called for a new Director for Academic Freedom at the Office for Students to promote “tolerance for viewpoint diversity” in universities and students’ unions. The role would encourage compliance and investigate possible breaches. It added that guidance should be updated to ensure students’ unions fulfil their “freedom of speech duties” and universities and colleges had to be being willing to support events in the face of “intimidation” and “threats”.

 
 

Christian rugby star Israel Folau declined to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before a match between his team, the Catalan Dragons, and Castleford Tigers on Saturday. This is the second successive week he's done so, and this time he was joined by two of team-mates, Benjamin Jullien and Sam Moa at the match at Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds. Catalans coach Steve McNamara said after last Sunday's game that the players were free to make a personal choice on the matter and, as a devout Christian, Folau is thought to have taken the view that he will bow only to his God. Despite the controversy, Folau was the talk of match as he led the Catalans Dragons to a 40-14 victory in the Betfred Super League Last year, he made internationsl headlines when was sacked from his Rugby Australia contract for quoting a biblical verse saying "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers and other categories of sinners. He has been given a one year contract with the Catalan Dragons, which will be terminated if he makes similar comments linked to his faith. The club has also been warned it will be given a substantial fine by the league authorities for such comments.