Pilgrims, Romanians, and the Supreme Court...

Nov 26, 2020

Nearly 400 years after the pilgrims arrived in America searching for religious freedom, a group of Romanian Christians came to the U.S. searching for their own religious freedom. Sadly, this year, the Romanian immigrants found that America had fallen victim to Marxist anti-church leaders seeking to silence God's people here in "the new world." Their case, as represented by Liberty Counsel, now sits before the U.S. Supreme Court. YOUR prayers and help are needed NOW to ensure America restores the religious freedom upon which our country was founded. Read on. -Mat

When Pastor Christian Ionescu fled Romania's brutal anti-God communist regime, he thought America would be the safest place in the world to worship and preach the word of God. No retribution against Christians would harm his flock. No imprisoned pastors, no beaten Christians, no churches seized and destroyed by a government intent on eradicating God. The years of secret churches hiding from murderous anti-god government agents were finally and blessedly over...or so he thought.

The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact 400 years ago — a charter and commitment to advance Christianity in the "new World." So steadfast was their devotion that they made a dangerous sea voyage to an unknown and unsettled land, with little more than faith in God to carry them through.

In 1620, the pilgrims fled their homeland over a government-controlled church. In the 1980s, Romanian Christians fled their homeland over government bans on church. But where the pilgrims found religious freedom on American shores, their modern Romanian counterparts found religious oppression.
Nearly 30 years after escaping one anti-God regime, the Romanians were horrified to find the very same God-hating, church-banning, Christian-silencing, Marxist government operatives in Chicago, IL.

America had been settled and the First Amendment ratified long before Pastor Ionescu and fellow Romanian Christian emigres arrived on her shores. Churches dotted the landscapes of every country town and city. The Romanian Christians who survived Romania's brutal atheistic regime thought they had finally found true religious freedom. Then in 2020 they met IL Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

The Church IS essential!

When the COVID shutdowns were first announced, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries willingly complied out of care and concern for their flock. But when Gov. Pritzker allowed liquor stores, pot shops, and abortion mills to continue operating unencumbered, while imposing drastic restrictions on churches, the pastors said NO MORE.

The Elim church was professionally sanitized from top to bottom. Personal protection equipment and supplies were purchased in bulk. Pews taped off to ensure social distancing. Every possible measure was taken, and no expense was spared to ensure the safety of the church members. Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church went far and above the state ordered safety protocols, working to ensure their facilities were cleaner and safer than even Pritzker's allowed "essential businesses."

"The church IS essential," Pastor Ionescu declared, as Elim opened its doors, welcoming its flock to worship, despite Pritzker's anti-church mandates.
Marxism raises its ugly head.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was infuriated that this church of immigrants would dare defy the edicts of her Democrat governor. Never mind that the governor and the mayor had both welcomed and encouraged the massive protests and riots that rocked Chicago for months. Never mind that the Governor himself had broken his own shut-down/stay-at-home orders to appear with the pro-Marxism protesters. Mayor Lightfoot decided to make an example of the church that chose to defy her.

Lightfoot had the neighbors' cars towed to incite hatred against the church. Every legally street-parked car for nine blocks around the church was towed and impounded. Church neighbors received notification that their cars had been towed because of the church.

Then, Lightfoot sent five marked police cars to block every entrance to Elim's private parking lot. Shortly before Sunday services, the message was clear – stay away, or else. But God bless the brave Romanians; they'd experienced much worse than Lori Lightfoot in their time. Members simply parked farther away and walked to church. NO ONE would stop them from worshipping God! Not the Romanian Communists who killed pastors for sport, and certainly not a power mad mayor from Chicago.
Lightfoot invited Pastor Ionescu to a meeting to "educate" him, as Romanian Marxists often did to pastors. Lightfoot rescinded her summons when the pastor said he would attend if his Liberty Counsel attorney were present.

What Lightfoot did next is shocking . . .

When it became clear Pastor Ionescu and Elim would not bow to her and Pritzker’s illegal, unconstitutional anti-Church demands, Lightfoot copied the very EXACT same tactic the Marxists used to eradicate churches.

Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church received official notice that the City of Chicago would SEIZE AND DESTROY the church should the Christians meet again with more than 10 people.

In Romania, over 5,000 pastors were imprisoned. Countless Christians were beaten and killed. Churches were seized by government officials and mostly destroyed. The church buildings not destroyed were turned into godless government buildings. The historical record shows that of all the Soviet empire states, Romania had the absolute worst religious oppression.

But the deep faith in the hearts of the Romanian people would NOT be quashed, not in the old country and most certainly NOT in this new "land of the free and home of the brave."
We forced Gov. Pritzker to temporarily back off when we drug him the to the steps of the Supreme Court. Now he wants to return to his old ways. So, we are now back at the High Court. This is the first church case in the country ready for a full review.

Your prayers and support are CRUCIAL right now!

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to hear our case on behalf of the Illinois Romanian Churches. We welcome your prayers.

Liberty Counsel needs your generous support like never before...because America's religious freedom is truly at risk!

Thank God for the provision of a NEW Year-End Challenge Grant that has been established to DOUBLE THE IMPACT of your gift. Every gift between now and the end of the year will be effectively doubled. Please, give as generously as you can. Religious liberty is truly on the line. Select here or the button below.
This Thanksgiving pray for America and stand with us to defend freedom.

Mat Staver,

Founder and Chairman
P.S. NEW YEAR-END CHALLENGE GRANT! As I mentioned above, we have a new Challenge Grant that will effectively DOUBLE the impact of your donations between now and the end of the year!