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BREAKING: Police raid and put up fences around Alberta church that defied lockdown orders

The church first made headlines last month after their pastor, James Coates, was jailed for violating lockdown orders on Mar 5. (Photo: Kim Smith, Twitter)

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GraceLife Church, the Alberta church which made headlines for defying provincial pandemic-related lockdown orders, is being blocked off by police using roadblocks and fencing to prevent worshippers from reaching the building.

The church first made headlines last month after their pastor, James Coates, was jailed for violating lockdown orders on Mar 5. He was held for weeks before his release on Mar 22, but still faces an upcoming trial.

Sources familiar with the situation say that the premises was raided in the early morning.

According to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the crime he was jailed for is not punishable by prison time.

"Unless the Justice Centre secures his release from prison prior to trial, Pastor Coates will spend a total of eleven weeks in jail for a provincial infraction that is not punishable by jail time," wrote JCCF president John Carpay.

Despite the legal threats made against Coates, the pastor nevertheless made headlines again by opening the church for Easter services earlier this month.

Coates pled guilty to one charge resulting in a fine of $1,500. However, his time spent in jail may count as credit towards that fine.

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