A Baptist pastor from Alberta was arrested for a second time following an aerial police discovery of his previously clandestine church gathering, the Calgary Herald reported Tuesday.
The officers informed Stephens that he had disobeyed the order by hosting an outdoor event with hundreds of Christian worshippers.
Rebel News shared the details of the incident in a Tuesday tweet.
“.@ATSoos and @KianSimone44 were on scene as police in Calgary, Alberta arrested Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church for a second time on new charges stemming from his hosting of ‘underground’ church services the past two weekends,” the outlet tweeted.
.@ATSoos and @KianSimone44 were on scene as police in Calgary, Alberta arrested Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church for a second time on new charges stemming from his hosting of ‘underground’ church services the past two weekends.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) June 15, 2021
According to The Daily Wire, Stephens tried to debate the religious and legal grounds for the violation, to which one officer replied, “‘Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,’ right? So we’re not getting into this philosophical debate.”
“It is our position that [Alberta Health Services] is engaged in an intentional act of public deception and abuse of authority in arresting Pastor Stephens and others,” Jay Cameron, litigation director of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, said in a statement Tuesday.
Cameron also criticized Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his administration, saying that “it appears that Premier Kenney’s Government is targeting its enemies, those who are speaking out against lockdown restrictions and for Charter freedoms.”
“I just got a tip that the police may be on their way to arrest me,” the pastor wrote.
“Why? I continue to lead our church to worship Jesus as Lord over every earthly power.”
“More to come…Pray brothers and sisters. Stand firm, keep the faith.”
I just got a tip that the police may be on their way to arrest me. Why? I continue to lead our church to worship Jesus as Lord over every earthly power.
More to come…Pray brothers and sisters. Stand firm, keep the faith.
— Tim Stephens (@tim__stephens) June 14, 2021
Stephens was taken away in a barred police car and was being held in the Calgary Remand Centre — the location for his June 28 trial.
Concern over COVID-19 has led to many similar instances of these interactions between religious leaders and police, including a previous interaction Stephens had with the police for similar violations back in May, according to the Calgary Herald.
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