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Anti-lockdown protesters tear down barricade police erected around church

Protesters have torn down part of the barricade that Canadian police erected around a church to prevent worshippers from gathering in person. The incident took place in Alberta, Canada on April 11 in opposition to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who had installed the fencing around GraceLife Church.

In a move that even many secular Canadians say was over the top, the RCMP responded in force, decked out in riot gear and masks. It was all captured by video which was posted on social media.

Sheila Gunn Reid, a journalist with Rebel News who has spent two months with the GraceLife congregation as they have defied the provincial lockdowns on houses of worship, explained to “The Daily Wire: that the agitation was not because of anyone at the church

READ: What Canada’s crackdown on religious liberty means

“What I can tell you is that most of the congregation was with Pastor Coates today, who was holding services at an undisclosed location off-site to avoid any trouble,” she said. “For them, this is not about a building, it’s about being able to gather in person. That’s why they got in trouble in the first place for not limiting the congregation for 15 percent of fire code capacity.”

canadian pastor

Pastor James Coates

GraceLife Church first made international headlines in February when its pastor, James Coates, was arrested and jailed for more than a month after holding church services in defiance of Alberta’s Public Health Order, which limited congregations to 15 percent capacity. The RCMP repeatedly flagged GraceLife for not abiding by the order and later slapped the church with more charges when it continued to hold services during their pastor’s imprisonment.

READ: Pastor imprisoned for holding church services

Regarding rumors that circulated claiming that the fence had been pulled down by people attempting to make the church look bad, Reid tweeted, “I was there when the fence came down at GraceLife. It wasn’t a false flag. It wasn’t done by the church. It was outside agitators that did it against the wishes of congregation who wisely met elsewhere. The congregation could have pulled it down at any time.”

Reid also posted video of a protest group leader praying for their government leaders and the RCMP who had shut their church down. “Father, I pray that this meeting would honor and glorify you, that we would honor and glorify our leaders, that we would honor and glorify the RCMP,” he prayed in part. “But Father, I pray that you would transform the hearts and the lives of each one of us, of our leaders, and of the RCMP.”

“The church regularly prays for the police and even evangelizes to them,” she said. “I don’t speak for the congregation, but it’s been my experience that they are submitting to the consequences of their actions, as Christ did. That’s why Pastor Coates turned himself in February 16 for 35 days in maximum security custody.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice