Alberta Premier who jailed Christian pastor claims he is protecting ‘fundamental freedoms of religion’
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(LifeSiteNews) – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has released a statement regarding the jailing of Grace Life Church’s (Grace Life) Pastor James Coates, saying his imprisonment is “unfortunate,” but that Coates had “flagrantly” violated COVID rules.
“I know how important faith is to many people’s lives. So I want to be absolutely clear: Alberta’s government will always respect and protect the fundamental freedoms of religion and worship, period,” wrote Kenney in a post on his Facebook page Thursday.
“Unlike other jurisdictions, Alberta has sought to do this in a way that constitutes a minimal impairment of freedom of worship. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of almost all congregations to worship in a careful way that protects vulnerable lives, one or two congregations have chosen flagrantly to violate all public health guidelines. In doing so, they are risking viral transmission that could cost vulnerable lives.”
According to the legal team representing Coates and Grace Life however, Coates was – despite claims from Kenney – “jailed” for holding a church service.
“For the first time ever, Alberta has arrested and incarcerated a Christian minister for the ‘crime’ of holding a church service,” reads a portion of a letter addressed to Kenney regarding Coates from Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) President John Carpay.