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Canadian Pastor Imprisoned Until He Promises to Stop Preaching Amid Lockdown

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A Canadian pastor remains in prison after being arrested for violating a public health order which prohibits houses of worship from gathering at more than 15 percent capacity, and will not be released until he pledges to desist from preaching and having church services if freed, an act he refuses to agree to.

He is the first Canadian Pastor to be jailed for holding a church service.

Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Edmonton, Alberta {Editor’s Note.GLC is about as solid as a church as they come, and we have close friends and ministry partners who attend there} has been in custody since Tuesday, the end result of a month’s long protracted battle with the province trying to shut them down.

His wife Erin shared an update, writing that the condition of his release is that he does not pastor anymore.

In an email to members, Grace Life elders also state the same:

“The conditions currently in place prevent Pastor James from preaching, leading worship and even setting foot inside GraceLife Church until the time of his trial which is yet to be determined. Pastor James could not in all clear conscience abide by his current conditions so he remains behind bars.”

Coates will remain remanded there until February 24, at which time he and their lawyer, James Kitchen (with the JCCF), will appear before a Judge and seek Pastor James’ release condition appealed or modified. 

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