Hundreds of individuals gathered on the GraceLife Church in Edmonton on Sunday to protest the compelled closure of the congregation, CTV stories.
The congregation was “physically closed” on Wednesday in line with Alberta Health Services for defying the province’s COVID-19 orders for months.
AHS says the congregation would stay closed till it “can demonstrate the ability to comply with Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health’s restrictions.”
GraceLife Church was surrounded by fencing, entry roads blocked off, and reportedly raided early that morning by police.
Video of Sunday’s protest present crowds singing and chanting “Only tyrants fear the lord” and “Listen Gestapo, we are a free country.” It escalated into ripping down among the fencing surrounding the congregation.
The fencing was changed by different protestors aiding the police, saying “Jesus would not take down the fence.”
Police blocked the north entrance and had tow vehicles able to take away automobiles that block site visitors.
One video posted to twitter reveals an alleged “200 cops for a church.”
One clip reveals a girl yelling on the police blockading the church, “do you agree with this? You’re gonna deny my kid the right to go to the bathroom. Shame on you.”
According to CTV, an estimated 350 folks gathered exterior the church along with a convoy of self proclaimed “patriots” that drove from Calgary. In a press release launched by the RCMP, police stated they had been engaged on preserving “peace and public safety.”
“The RCMP will use only the level of intervention necessary to ensure the safety of all citizens and to maintain peace, order, and security,” the assertion reads. “The RCMP uses necessary measures to protect the fundamental freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, to promote the safety of all citizens, to enforce laws and to maintain peace and order.”
“In turn, it must be recognized that while everyone has a right to peaceful freedom of expression; the general public, local residents and businesses also have the right to a safe environment,” the assertion continued.
GraceLife Church pastor James Coates was charged with violating the Public Health Act by holding church providers as regular for greater than a yr, not following any authorities restrictions. He was jailed on March 5, and was held for 2 weeks earlier than being launched on March 22 for against the law the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms says isn’t punishable by jail time. His trial is scheduled to start on May 3.