Edmonton Canada Pastor James Coates jailed for holding church service
In 2021, James Coates, a Pastor in Edmonton, Canada, was jailed for holding worship. He violated strict regulations in huge gatherings in light of the pandemic lockdown imposed since November last year.
His wife Erin Coates said, “This is definitely not the nation that I grew up in,” she told Fox’s, Tucker Carlson. “He’s not able to shepherd the people that he loves; he’s not able to challenge his mind, he’s not able to serve in the way that he loves to serve people… this is hard on him.“
Interestingly, the church was packed the next Sunday after the pastor was imprisoned.
Freed after a month
After a month of incarceration, Pastor Coates was released with a $1,500 fine on March 22, 2021. Meantime, churches appeal decisions upholding prohibitions on in-person worship.
Pastor coats rebuked with the following
“Your decision could have been of danger to the health and safety of those in the community,” said Judge Jeffrey Champion, who decided on his case.
Church persecution in Canada?
Many see it as church persecution when other establishments like abortion clinics remain open, and at the same time, a convicted child sex offender released without condition. Hence, a double standard for Christians.
Should Pastor James Coates have submitted to authority?
Technically, he did submit by accepting the consequences of his obedience to God—he was jailed, just like the apostles.
The Bible tells us to submit to government policies and regulations because it is commendable and as witnesses for Christ. However, the Pastor deemed not to do so because the Bible also tells us to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Christian persecution in the USA
In 2020, apologist Pastor John Macarthur faced a similar threat as Christianity declines in the USA. The court used a blog from Julie Roys as evidence to pin him down. She claims to be a Christian exposing the sins of the church.