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Canadian pastor jailed over pandemic violations


Pastor Tim Stephens YouTube/Fairview Baptist Church

Canadian pastor jailed over pandemic violations

Alberta police on Monday arrested Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary for violating public health codes. Guidelines restrict worship gatherings to one-third building capacity, but Fairview shifted services outside after Alberta Health Services (AHS) closed their building and changed the locks. After AHS served Stephens a notice over the weekend, he posted on social media that the police were on their way to his home. Officers told Stephens they were arresting him for holding an outdoor service on June 6 that exceeded size limits and failing to enforce masking and social distancing.

What next? His wife in a Facebook post said Stephens refused a bail offer conditioned on following health guidelines because “doing so would prevent him from faithfully shepherding the flock.” Stephens’ hearing is set for June 28, and he faces up to two years imprisonment.

Dig Deeper: Read Joshua Raimundo’s report on another Alberta pastor who was jailed for violating COVID-19 restrictions.


Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.

@CarolinaLumetta

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JimVC

What's one-third capacity of outdoors???

My Two Cents

I can see that having an outdoor worship service would be a serious threat to the health and safety of all Canadians. Thank goodness the Alberta Health Police are on top of things.

Big Jim

Keeping Calgary safe by sweeping the mean streets of pastors and Christ worshipers!

Nanamiro

Amazing. This is the kind of thing that might happen in Cuba or China. Stunning that Canada is arresting pastors for having church.