HOUSE CHURCHES ILLEGAL IN U.S. JUST AS IN CHINA?
"Do you sing?" "Do you say 'amen?'" "Do you say 'praise the Lord?'" If so, you may need a permit for holding a "Religious Assembly" under county land-use codes (zone ordinance). If you have a house church, such as the types that have been routinely raided in China, where you conduct "religious services involving public assembly such as customarily occurs in synagogues, temples, and churches," and you don't have a land-use permit, you could be in trouble with Big Brother. Now, the idea about land-use codes is so a neighbor doesn't have to live next door to a polluting factory or something or have the street lined with parked cars from non-neighbors such that others can't even ever have anyone over to visit (because someone is holding service or whatever once a week and what "hogging" the street parking).
Well, lets just be extremely careful not to infringe upon someone's reasonable right to worship in his or her own home with friends over. Let's not let the naysayers use once-a-week parking as some huge issue. As the article points out, people have people over for card games. They have people over for watching sports on TV and for dinners and parties and plenty of other reasons. If you are going to shut down house church gatherings, you are going to be discriminating against the RLCC because house churches are an integral part of getting back to the way that Jesus and original disciples did it. They went into the synagogues until they were persecuted out of them. Then it was people's homes nearly exclusively for decades.
"County won't force permit on Bible study leaders: Code officer formally warned couple over meetings at home," by Helen Gao and Janine ZÃºÃ±iga, Union-Tribune. May 30, 2009.