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Recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as surveys by Gallup, show a troubling consequence of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

According to Liberty Counsel, mental health distress, drug addictions, overdoses and suicides increased by “exponential numbers” in 2020.

Just 36 percent of Americans report their mental health as “excellent.”

Two-in-five Americans suffer from symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma or stress-related disorders.

One-in-four young adults 18-24 have seriously considered suicide in the last 30 days.

Sixteen percent of adults between 25-44 have also seriously contemplated suicide in the last 30 days.

One segment of the population, however, has not seen increases in depression, addiction or suicide — regular churchgoers.

Rather, 46 percent of regular churchgoers in 2020 reported their mental health as excellent. That’s a two percent climb than the same time in 2019, 10 percent higher than the general public and 17 percent higher than survey respondents who stated they never or almost never go to church.

Of those who do not attend church, 29 percent having excellent mental health.

“The truth is, the church was given to us not simply as a place to learn and worship, but a place to gather for support and healing. Few times in all of history has the church been more important than now… yet a number of governors continue to keep churches heavily restricted or shut down entirely,” said Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver.

Liberty Counsel is currently defending the church in a number of cases. Here is their summary:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court: In Illinois, politicians are threatening to seize and destroy an immigrant church’s facility for daring to meet. Our case representing Pastor Cristian Ionescu, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries of Illinois is the first case ready for presentation to the U.S. Supreme Court for a full hearing, and we await the Court’s scheduling.
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has made it ILLEGAL to worship for 99.9% of the population in his state. Pastors, staff and attendees face daily compounding fines and years in jail for gathering to worship. We expect the Court of Appeals to issue a ruling soon on our case defending Pastor Ché Ahn, Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry. Yesterday, we received the state’s Supplemental Brief and immediately filed a reply. Depending on the ruling, this case may also go back to the Supreme Court.
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals: VA Gov. Ralph Northam shut down churches and sent marked police cars to “warn off” any who might be tempted to violate his illegal ban. Liberty Counsel managed to get the criminal charges against Pastor Kevin Wilson dropped. However, our case defending Lighthouse Fellowship Church of Chincoteague Island continues in order to prevent the governor from again shutting down the church.
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals: ME Gov. Janet Mills, like other anti-church governors, shut down church services, tried to make herself the de factohead of the church by offering to open “governor approved” churches. We continue to represent Pastor Ken Graves and Calvary Chapel of Bangor, ME.
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: KY Gov. Andy Beshear put an entire congregation on the equivalent of house arrest for attending an outdoor, stay-in-your-own-car, parking lot Easter Sunday church service. We beat Gov. Beshear twice in Appeals Court, defending Pastor Jack Roberts and Maryville Baptist Church with two back-to-back, 3-0 decisions defending the right of Kentuckians to hold and attend church, even in a time of COVID. But the governor is still fighting his misguided battle.

In Colorado, the governor was forced to drop all of his restrictions against churches due to Liberty Counsel’s work.

For those wanting to support Liberty Counsel, please visit their website.

Author: Jacob Hall