The war on faith has reached new heights with the incarceration of a pastor in Edmonton. On February 17, 2021 pastor James Coates, of GraceLife Church, was led off in handcuffs and ankle restraints, for 2 charges in violation of public health orders. He is being held at the Edmonton Remand Centre, a high security prison. To add insult to injury, pastor Coates is required to endure 2 weeks in isolation, as per covid protocol. This excludes visitation by anyone, including his own wife.
Anyone familiar with solitary confinement knows this is cruel punishment, and considered a form of torture. All of this occurred because he wanted to serve God and his congregation, and hold a church service. In Canada, a country founded on the freedom of religion, which is the first freedom listed on our Charter of Rights. Something is very wrong, folks.
Starting with the unlawful health orders, which the government has failed to demonstrably prove are a reasonable and appropriate response for the circumstances at hand, as required by the Charter of Rights. So now they’ve imprisoned a minister, one who was in fact defending the Charter. Does the rule of law still mean something in this country? Because these lockdown restrictions are unlawful. They must be lifted before the destruction of our society is complete. Freedom of Religion is Essential!
It’s worth noting, that on the same day Feb 17, the chief justice of BC’s Supreme Court denied an application from the province for an injunction against three Fraser Valley churches who were in violation of lockdown rules, prohibiting in-person services. A small victory, yet the rules remain in place. Elsewhere, churches in Manitoba and Ontario that remained open for the past year have been enduring numerous fines and threats.
Meanwhile, at the Edmonton Remand Centre, several hundred people have gathered outside, to hold daily vigil in support of the imprisoned preacher. Several ministers are in attendance, and have spoken passionately from the stage; including pastor Tobias Tissen from Manitoba; and from Ontario pastor Rene McIntyre and pastor Henry Hildebrandt. As well, the wife of pastor Coates addressed the crowd, pleading for compassion in the face of oppression.
Of course, the mainstream media offers minimal coverage of the situation, again trying to spin the story, referring to the supporters as anti-maskers or white supremacists. But they’re rapidly losing credibility, so they’re welcome to say what they like.
I’m personally quite shocked and disgusted with these recent developments in our country. Although it was inspiring to see the loyal support for pastor Coates outside the prison, the question was asked from the stage, where are the other pastors? Why isn’t every clergyman/woman in Alberta standing in support of their peer? For that matter, why not every minister in the country? All faith leaders? This is your fight too. When do you plan to open your churches, synagogues, mosques and temples? One more year, maybe two? Are you really concerned about your flock? What do you even stand for? It seems you hold the unlawful rules of man in greater reverence than your own faith. Now is the time to make a decision, if you care to be relevant in the new world.
All faith leaders can in fact be an integral part of the solution, the fail-safe mechanism that turns things around, and restores sanity in our society! You hold that power… open the churches! This is truly a historical moment. I pray the ministers find their collective voice, and denounce the evil creeping into Canada.
I hope the public can clearly see how off-course we are now. We’re holding a preacher in a high security prison for holding worship service! Anyone can see this isn’t right. Where is the public outrage? When do you say enough is enough?