“A Christian pastor from Edmonton Canada, has been jailed for breaking Alberta’s Public Health Act by continuing to hold church services when ordered to stop,” reports Breitbart. Pastor James Coates is the head pastor at Grace Life Church in Edmonton, Canada.
On Tuesday, the pastor turned himself into the police after the government sent officials to attended his Sunday service to determine whether the pastor was complying with Alberta’s Public Health Act. The Canadian pastor is still in custody after refusing the terms of his bail. The pastor could be released if he agrees to stop holding services that defy the health orders.
Grace Life Church went back to in-person worship during the summer of 2020 after initially shutting down due to the risk of spreading the Covid-19. The Breitbart report states that “authorities from Alberta Health Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) determined that Pastor Coates ‘was not complying with his Undertaking release conditions” issued by authorities.”
The government told pastor James Coates that he would be able to leave if he abided by the rules of his release, which was to stop providing worship services on Sundays. The pastor refused.
Breitbart reports that the lawyer for Pastor Coates, “James Kitchen told CTV News that his client was willing to go to jail in order to do the “right thing” but “Coates could not, in good conscience,” agree to the cessation of church services. Kitchen went on to say that Pastor James Coates’ “first obedience is to his Lord, is to his God. And normally, obeying Jesus and obeying the government go right in hand. The government’s forcing him into a position where he has to choose between disobeying God and disobeying the government.”
The pastor has been “charged with two counts of contravention of the Public Health Act and for failing to comply with a condition of his release. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Inspector Mike Lokken said, “We’ve been consistent in our approach of escalated levels of enforcement with Pastor Coates, and we were hopeful to resolve this issue in a different manner. The Pastor’s actions, and the subsequent effects those actions could have on the health and safety of citizens, dictated our response in this situation.”
Please join me in praying for Dr. James Coates. Pastor of GraceLife Church in Edmonton Alberta Canada. I just received this update from his bride, Erin!
Please pray and share as this type of tyranny and evil MUST be exposed!! pic.twitter.com/dRqh3sDbpc
— Chris Huff (@ChrisHuff) February 17, 2021
Pastor Coates’ wife, Erin, shared this message about her husband:
“James has been in isolation in a cell block since yesterday morning. His hearing didn’t go very well. The crown went for the jugular. The JP says he didn’t want to detain him; he wasn’t interested in making a martyr of him. He could walk if he just sets aside his God-given pastoral duties, but he can’t do that. He has a hearing today to set a court date for his charges. It’s very possible that they will remand him until his court case. The Crown has called him a danger to the health and safety of Albertans.
May God have mercy on our nation! I read to my children the work the Lord is doing in peoples through James so they can see the sacrifice of their father is not in vain. My prayer is that men will stand! They can’t see that if they shut down on this issue, they will shut us down on any issue they deem to a “danger to the health and safety of Albertans.”
My heart is broken. They tried him in secrete. The officers lied to us and told us he wasn’t there. They tried to hide him and sneak him out the back door. In the providence of God, one of our men was there. The officer only allowed him to tell him that he loved him and was here with him. They pulled him away. They have remanded him as our lawyer seeks the appeal. The conditions of his release are that he would not pastor anymore. I cannot visit him.”
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org