The pastor's church, which is detained for church providers, is fenced off by the police
Pastor James Coates was detained by police for several weeks as his church continued to hold face-to-face services beyond the limit set by the authorities.(Photo: YouTube)
Canadian police fenced off a church that continued to hold personal services during the pandemic.
A metal fence was placed around GraceLife Church in Edmond, Alberta days after the building was closed by government health services, the Edmonton Journal reports.
The fence extended to the parking lot and parts of the driveway.
"This was done to ensure that all premises subject to the closure of the executive order are secure and restricted from public access," James Wood, spokesman for Alberta Health Services, told the newspaper.
Hundreds have gathered outside the church in the past few days to protest the forced closure, despite GraceLife church declaring that its parishioners did not attend.
Video footage showed demonstrators tearing down the metal fences.
GraceLife Church was charged last month by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with holding services in February that exceeded the 15% limit.
In February, the Church's pastor, James Coates, was arrested by police for violating Covid-19 public worship regulations. However, he was released a month later.
GraceLife continues to defend its actions, saying in a statement on its website: "It is evident that the negative impact of government lockdowns on society far outweighs the impact of Covid-19.
"The science used to justify lockdown measures is both suspicious and selective. In fact, there is no empirical evidence that lockdowns are effective in containing the spread of the virus.
"We are deeply concerned that Covid-19 is being used to fundamentally change society and deprive us of all civil liberties.
"When the so-called 'pandemic' is over and the Albertans are ever allowed to be over, they will be totally dependent on the government instead of being free, wealthy and independent.
"As such, we believe that loving our neighbor requires exercising our civil liberties. We do not see our actions as maintaining the longevity of Covid-19 or any other virus that will inevitably arise.
"If anything, we see our actions as contributing to their end – the end of destructive lockdowns and the end of attempts to institutionalize the debilitating fear of viral infection."