The plight facing Pastor James Coates sounds like something out of almost any other country other than a supposedly free one, like Canada. Pastor Coates, of the GraceLife Church in Alberta, was recently jailed for a little over a month for violating the Public Health Act because he dared to hold church services. While he was recently released, that's not the end of the troubles facing him or his church.
A update list regarding Coates was published by Church Leaders, including to do with his release on March 22. While Tré Goins-Phillips of Faithwire reported that Coates was released after the Alberta government dropped the criminal charges, he also noted that the pastor "is, though, still facing financial charges for violating health orders."
On top of that, the government is trying to delay what would have been his May 3 trial, according to Rebel News. While that's outraged Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, they also also took issue with how the Alberta government erected a wall against the church. Both concerns are laid out in a press release, "Alberta government seeks to delay May 3 trial of Pastor Coates and barricades Church."
What video and photo footage we have is otherworldly, especially when it comes to the details we have, such as how the Royal Canadian Mounted Police assisted in walling off the place.
Developing story:— Dan Andros (@DanAndros) April 7, 2021
Canadian police are currently putting up fencing around Pastor James Coates' Grace Life Church and not allowing members on the premises. Coates had recently been released from prison for violation of COVID related restrictions. https://t.co/8fWmXoFbA8
GraceLife is being walled off by two layers of security fencing and a black tarp to obscure the entrance to the church.— Sheila Gunn Reid (@SheilaGunnReid) April 7, 2021
RCMP and private Paladin security are here.
RCMP have no documentation to present to the church re:closure, but are keeping members off the property. pic.twitter.com/68E7ntCHVp
Chilling update on GraceLife Church after police put fencing up around it this am: AHS said it "physically closed" the church and has prevented access until the church "can demonstrate the ability to comply with Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health's restrictions."— Dan Andros (@DanAndros) April 7, 2021
You'd never know that this was a house of worship. What comes to mind is more like a closed down restaurant, or something nefarious that needs to be hidden from society, like an abortion facility or a strip club.
Shortly before Pastor Coates was released, his wife, Erin Coates, spoke with Tucker Carlson about her husband's plight.