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Persecution of the Western Church
February/March/April 2021: Pastor James Coates jailed for 35 days; police build a fence around GraceLife church; 200 cops in riot gear and a police helicopter confront Christian worshipers.
- "In February, GraceLife's Pastor James Coates was charged violating COVID-19 public health orders. Coates spent 35 days in custody before pleading guilty to a charge of breaching bail and was fined $1,500. He returned to the pulpit on March 28."
- "Authorities erected a chain-link fence to prevent the house of worship from reopening last week [in April]. On Sunday, worshippers tore down the barricade, but were quickly met by a large contingent of riot police."
- "The Royal Canadian Mounted Police even closed off the access roads in front of the church to the public."
- "There were reports of 200 police officers in riot gear sent to disperse the crowd outside of the GraceLife Church."
- @ezralevant on Twitter: "After the Christians tore down the fence that the government had built around the Edmonton church [in April], the police sent in 200 heavily-armed riot police. That’s the church building you see there. This is China stuff, Iran stuff. But it’s happening in Canada."
- @conservmillen on Twitter: "Yet another sexual offender released without conditions in Edmonton, where Pastor James Coates sits in jail for letting people come to church."
- @DrOakley1689 on Twitter, posting a letter from Knox United Church calling it "good news" that the Canadian government shut down GraceLife Church:
- "Anyone familiar with the true nature of what we used to call 'liberal' Christianity will not be surprised by this letter. It speaks from the heart of the corpse that is left when the Spirit-borne submission to Scripture as God's Word is abandoned."
April/May 2021: Polish Pastor Artur Pawlowski harassed and eventually arrested in Alberta.
- National File:
- "It is against the law to feed homeless in Canada, but Pawlowski has taken it upon himself to help those who would otherwise be rejected in society."
- "This court order grants not only the arrest of Pawlowski and anyone who stands by him without a warrant, but gives the police permission to go wherever they believe Pawlowski might be, including his office or home."
- Rebel News: "Police cars swarmed him as he drove home from his church. They ordered him out of his car and made him kneel down on a busy highway. Heavily-armed SWAT police arrested him. But he’s not a terrorist. He’s Artur Pawlowski, a Christian pastor. And he’s now in jail."
April 2021: Police raid Westminster Chapel during service and fine elders.
- @DrJoeBoot: "15 armed police in riot jackets and anti-stab vests burst in on my church Sunday morning and entered without a warrant handing out tickets to several of my fellow elders. That’s Canada in 2021. Criminals are let out and pastors fined for public worship."
May 2021: Trinity Bible Chapel fined $40 million, then seized by police and a locksmith
- Not The Bee: "Trinity Bible Chapel in Ontario has refused to close, despite more than $40 million in fines and harassment of its members. Months ago, the church published a statement explaining why they believe this defiance honors Christ. This weekend, authorities forcibly locked the doors."
- @TBCWR on Twitter: "This is the collection of police, bylaw, news media, and a locksmith that all showed up for the locking of our doors."
- Rebel News: "According to Pastor Reaume, members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service have recorded the licence plate numbers of church attendees. The police then later go to congregants’ private residences — typically late at night — to serve these people with fines."
May 2021: Alberta Court Justice issues restraining order against anyone who "incites" people to go to church.
- Justice Centre:
- "On May 6, 2021, Associate Chief Justice John Rooke of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued what might be the broadest restraining order in common law history."
- "Justice Rooke’s injunction applies to any Albertan who 'promotes' an 'Illegal Public Gathering' via social media or otherwise, and any Albertan who 'incites' others to attend."
- "Upon being arrested and detained (with or without also being issued a ticket) the accused person’s only way to regain her liberty is to consent to having her Charter freedoms of association, conscience, religion and peaceful assembly violated by the government’s health orders."
May 2021: Calgary police arrest Pastor Tim Stephens outside his church, in front of his wife and sobbing children; then later seize the church building.
- Rebel News:
- "Cops [were] at every corner" surrounding the church.
- "Today, after services at Fairview Baptist, Calgary police came to Tim's church and arrested him in front of his wife and crying children. Police would not tell Rebel News' Kian 'K2' Simone why they were detaining him."
- @Tim__Stephens: "On Sunday [May 16th] our church building was also ordered closed. Please pray for the Lord’s provision of other places to gather together.
The church must gather."
May 2021: Armed police shut down Church of God during Sunday services.
- Rebel News: "Armed officers were sent in, en masse, to shutdown the Church of God during services two weekends ago."
- "The church and the two pastors are now facing $117,000 in fines and legal fees."
- "Behind me are the locked doors that somebody thought they had the authority to lock," Hildebrandt said during his sermon. "And we are here because we have the authority of God on our side."
May 2021: Premiere of Manitoba invents his own "11th Commandment" when asked about churches.
- YouTube: "I can also say to anyone who's thinking that they should break the public health orders, that I've come up with an Eleventh Commandment, which is, 'Obey the public health orders.' And I would encourage everyone to make sure they do that."
- Proverbs 30:5-6: "Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar." (ESV)
May 2021: Pastor Tobias Tissen of Church of God in Manitoba goes into hiding after police obtain warrant for his arrest.
- The Counter Signal: "Since the province adopted restrictive measures last year, Tissen says his church remains a target, with public health officials issuing 18 tickets over their failure to comply with no indoor gatherings."
May 2021: Christians face prison time for quoting the Bible on homosexuality.
- Caldron Pool:
- "Family Research Council reported on Monday that 'Finland’s former Interior Minister and leader of the Christian Democrats, has been criminally charged for posting a picture of the Bible, opened to Romans 1:24-27.'"
- "... the former Finish member of parliament [could land] in prison for up to six years unless she recants."
- "Prosecutors allege that [Bishop-Elect Juhana Pohjola] ... is guilty of incitement against a group of people, due to his continuing support of traditional marriage."
April 2021: 75-year-old preacher arrested for quoting the Bible on homosexuality.
- Caldron Pool: "Pastor John Sherwood was preaching outside Uxbridge Station on Friday when two officers approached before pulling him off his platform and placing him in handcuffs."
- The Conservative Woman: "... the policeman responded that some matters simply cannot be referred to in public places, because there is no freedom to make statements which offend people. I responded that the police would have no objection whatsoever to a Pride parade being held in Uxbridge, yet that would be highly offensive to Bible-believing Christians. The officer did not appear to appreciate the logic behind this argument."
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