“I guess if you are an officer or a politician, you get a pass when you break the health orders.”
Pastor Richardson said he has counted the cost and is prepared to suffer.
“They can take the building but they cannot take the church,” Pastor Stephens said.
“Constitutionally guaranteed rights are not just theoretical. They cannot be cast aside just because the government declares a public health threat.”
The CHOICE42 notice read: “Pregnant? Need Help? You are not alone.”
According to a statement from Calgary Police Service, both men have been charged with organizing an “illegal in-person gathering, in addition to ‘requesting, inciting or inviting others’ to join them.
“For the Alberta Government to request that it not be required to provide evidence on May 3 in support of Dr Hinshaw’s Orders, while at the same time barricading the church, is both reprehensible and pathetic,” lawyer John Carpay said.
“There have also been unconfirmed reports posted to social media, noting that the same police-state crackdown isn’t being applied to Mosques…”
GraceLife Church released a statement following the incident, stating congregants were not involved in Sunday’s rally and that the church advocates for peaceful protest.
Police vehicles and unmarked SUVs blocked the entrance to the church around 8am on Wednesday as authorities erected chained fencing around the building’s perimeter.
Artur Pawlowski, Pastor of Cave of Adullam Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, shouted down the officers who he accused of entering the premises without a warrant.
Pastor Coates gave the exclusive interview with Sheila Gunn Reid of Rebel News on Monday where he detailed his time behind bars, his ministry opportunities while in prison, and his message to those responsible for his imprisonment.
“The men who are being persecuted and the churches that are being persecuted are asserting the supremacy of Jesus Christ over the church in a way that offends the government that wants to be supreme over the church.”
“I am not a political revolutionary,” Pastor Coates said before the court. “I am simply here in obedience with Jesus Christ, it is this obedience that put me at odds with the law.”
Erin described the ordeal as “heartbreaking” and an emotional rollercoaster for the Coates’ young children, but said their hope remains “in the perfect sovereign will of God.”
Pastor Coates has been imprisoned in the Edmonton Remand Centre since February 16, after he refused to sign a bail condition, which his lawyers described as effectively promising “to stop exercising his Charter freedoms of conscience, religion, expression, association, and peaceful assembly.”
“We are gravely concerned that C0VID-19 is being used to fundamentally alter society and strip us all of our civil liberties,” the church said in a statement.
The arrest and imprisonment of Pastor Coates has not deterred the church from continuing to gather for Sunday worship.
The court’s ruling has established a precedent that a person’s vocal doubts around COVID-19 can be a factor in child custody cases.
Pastor Coates was denied bail just one week after the same prison released a convicted child rapist, forcing police to issue a warning to the public to stay vigilant as it’s likely the rapist will offend again.