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Churchgoers in the town of Steinbach, Manitoba have defied the province's pandemic-related lockdown orders by intending to attend a drive-in Church service Sunday morning, leading to RCMP officers blockading the house of worship.
The church announced their commitment to holding a service over Facebook on Saturday night. "We will be holding a drive-in worship service tomorrow morning at 9:30, God willing," the statement reads. "Yesterday evening, the Manitoba government deemed drive-in services to be illegal. This worship service will be held in protest of these tyrannical edicts."
Under new lockdown restrictions in Manitoba, no more than five people can gather in one location, including if they remain in their cars.
The church was previously fined $5,000 for hosting services a week earlier, with the church's minister, Tobias Tissen, being handed two additional fines totalling more than $2,500 for attending the service and a separate anti-lockdown rally earlier in the month.
Due to RCMP blockade of the church, churchgoers were forced to hold their services on the adjacent highway, with the church blasting the service via loudspeaker.
The churchgoers confronted police, accusing them of demonstrating "fascism." One woman spoke to police by saying "go close down the liquor stores, go close down the sex shops, the stores that sell drugs, come on. Why aren't they being closed? Why can't we go to church on private property?" The crowd responded by affirming the woman's statement.
"We need [churches] now more than ever," a man in the crowd shouted.
Despite verbal confrontations with police, churchgoers remained peaceful even as the police began towing vans which were "blocking the highway" with people inside.
"Let us pray!" churchgoers shouted at police.
Steinbach RCMP said that they would not be providing a statement on the matter until Monday.
The Post Millennial reached out to the Church of God for comment but is yet to receive a reply.