It’s hard to know what’s more disheartening, cops shutting down a church for daring to meet or the fear-mongering scolds cheering it on. Worse, this is the second time in mere days that Canadian cops have attempted to intimidate a church for daring to meet with social distancing.
At dawn on Wednesday morning in Edmonton, Alberta – in an area that looks like it’s the middle of a prairie – Alberta Health Services police and cops with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) swarmed the GraceLife Church to cut off the building from its parishioners.
Police and crews arrived at oh-dark-30 to erect fencing around the church property to send a message that the church would not be able to worship on site until the government gave permission.
The church’s pastor was previously jailed for 35 days for defying shut-down orders.
Ezra Levant, the founder of Rebel News, noted the obvious “police state” tactics of locking people people out of church.
I count thirteen vehicles as part of this police raid on a church. They’re erecting steel fences around it. Like China does when they uncover an illegal “house church”. Except this is in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The same church whose pastor was thrown in prison for 35 days.
In a series of tweets, Levant noted his shock at the duplicity in allowing pot stores and Walmart to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not churches.
You can go to a Walmart or Costco or a liquor store or marijuana store. You can hold a Black Lives Matter rally and police will bend the knee.
But if you open a church, you’ll be raided by police, and thrown in prison for 35 days.
Only in China and Iran — and Alberta.
Global News reported that “numerous orders have been ignored by the entity, prompting the closure,” which isn’t just a closure, it’s a takeover and confiscation of the church’s property until they comply with government orders.
Rebel News reported that Pastor James Coates turned himself in to the “maximum security” lock-up in February for defying the COVID shutdown of churches for a “crime” that wasn’t even punishable by prison time.
According to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the crime he was jailed for is not punishable by prison time.
“Unless the Justice Centre secures his release from prison prior to trial, Pastor Coates will spend a total of eleven weeks in jail for a provincial infraction that is not punishable by jail time,” wrote JCCF president John Carpay.
Despite the legal threats made against Coates, the pastor nevertheless made headlines again by opening the church for Easter services earlier this month.
Coates was just released last Monday. He preached at his church the following Sunday and just days later the cops showed up at his church to make sure he didn’t dare preach another sermon behind that pulpit.
Though Canadian officials are certain that Coates is breaking their health rules, they won’t say if any COVID illnesses have come from the fellowship. The Edmonton Journal reports that the church has reported two “cases,” which can mean positive tests, but not necessarily illnesses.
These weren’t Coates’s first scrapes with the law for defying “health orders.” He’d been previously arrested and fined for holding church services and defying the mask and 15% capacity rules.
Last Sunday, the local health agents and RCMP cops attempted to raid the church during services. Church elders held them off.
The incident is reminiscent of the chilling scene that played out during a Good Friday service in Calgary, Alberta, at the the Street Church Ministries church. As PJ Media reported, Pastor Artur Pawlowski kicked out health inspectors and cops who had come to inspect his church. He called them the Gestapo, Nazis, communists, and fascists. He’d know something about that, considering he was born in Soviet-bloc Poland and his family escaped.
But the reaction to the onerous actions of the health police and RCMP has been disheartening. The woke crowd has cheered the closing of the church.
This woman was happy that the cops shut down the church, scoffing at the characterization that the cops had raided the church.
RAIDING? RAIDING? They are enforcing the law. Wonderful.
This guy decided that rules are bigger than God.
Grace Life Church openly defies public health measures. They could have safely worshipped within the rules but they didn’t. The actions of those members can negatively impact the communities they live in. Religion teaches consequences for how we live… well here it is!
This person reminds us that there’s no “First Amendment” in Canada.
Not sure what is hard to understand about the situation. Doesnt matter if they are a church, they still have to abide by the safety measure put in place for COVID-19. No sympathy for those who can’t follow simple guidelines
One wonders if they’d say such a thing about a Black Lives Matter march or antifa protest.