Another Ontario church faces persecution—pastors and elders charged after holding services

This follows the persecution of many pastors across Ontario as churches push back against lockdown orders.

Elie Cantin-Nantel Ottawa ON

The pastors and elders of the Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo, Ontario have all been charged for holding worship services on December 27. This follows the prosecution of many pastors across Ontario as churches push back against lockdown orders.

Waterloo Police Service officers showed up to the homes of each elder and pastor to give them a summon to court, they're being charged under Section 10.1 of the Reopening Ontario Act, also known as Bill 195.

In a statement, the church writes "we are peaceful family men seeking to pastorally care for our families and our church in sincere obedience to God. We are not criminals."

The church goes on to explain their reasoning behind defying the lockdown imposed by the Ford government, stating "Since we decided to re-open the church in June, implementing various COVID protocols in our services, we have not had a single outbreak traced back to our church. We thank God for that.  Instead, we have heard a plethora of stories from many of our congregants about how they were negatively affected spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially during the first lockdown.

The statement then says that on December 3, they informed governing authorities that they would not shut the church down again. In a letter to officials, they cited scripture and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The church has also said that they are standing against tyrannical government measures, adding "We have ancestors who fought in wars to protect us from state abuses of this nature, and many of our families fled police states that eerily resemble what we are being subjected to at the present. Our high school teachers, parents, and grandparents warned us against governments that act this way."

The hypocrisy from certain politicians that don't follow their own rules was also highlighted in the statement, "Several politicians have been caught violating their own laws by visiting cottages, hosting gatherings, or jaunting to warmer climates. Our very own Chief of Police, Brian Larkin, publicly endorsed much larger public gatherings in June."

The church shared their disdain for the double standard that officials showed towards mass BLM protests. "The Chief of Police offered the “full support” to a protest in which the "crowd may have been between 12,000 and 20,000 strong." Chief Larkin explained to participants, even as they contravened lockdown orders, that police “will ensure you have the support needed to practice your democratic right and have your voice heard."

Trinity Bible Chapel also believes that this "arbitrary rule of law is dangerous even as it is contrary to our inherited values."

The statement released by the church states that while they respect those who serve in uniform, they are concerned about the behaviour of the WRPS. Adding "Although we know of officers within the WRPS who personally disagree with these charges, it appears the WRPS is trying to make an example of us. For years we have taught our children to respect police, and now our children and grandchildren are witness to their fathers and grandfathers receiving charges from police for worshipping Christ with our church. It is a dark day for Waterloo Region and Ontario."

This charter violating incident follows multiple other persecutions of pastors who defied Ontario's lockdown orders. Other pastors facing charges include Rev Aaron Rock, Herbert Hildebrandt, and Rene Mclntyre. Freedom of peaceful assembly and religion is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The statement put out by Trinity Bible Chapel ends with a quote from CS Lewis, which states "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."


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