Six elders of a church in Ontario, Canada, were recently handed a $10,000 fine and a court summons for violating COVID-19 restrictions after holding in-person church services.
According to The Christian Post, the elders of Trinity Bible Chapel were given the summons last week after Officers from the Waterloo Region Police Service visited their homes. The charge alleged the church for exceeding the limit for attendees during a worship service on Dec. 27. The regulation allows for there to be 10 people present indoors and 10 people present outdoors, CBC News reports.
A press release posted by the church elders argued that there has been no outbreak traced from its services after resuming its gatherings in June.
The elders explained they “have heard a plethora of stories from many of our congregants about how they were negatively affected spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially during the first lockdown.”
“We are peaceful family men seeking to pastorally care for our families and our church in sincere obedience to God. We are not criminals,” they continued.
According to the elders of Trinity Bible Chapel, they believe that “to our knowledge, this is the first time that each and every member of an entire elders board has been charged for gathering a church to worship.”
They added that the WRPS is apparently “trying to make an example of us.” Meanwhile, Chief of Police Brian Larkin, “publicly endorsed much larger public gatherings in June,” they noted.
At the time, Larkin expressed his support of a Black Lives Matter protest where the “crowd may have been between 12,000 and 20,000 strong.”
“For years we have taught our children to respect police, and now our children and grandchildren are witness to their fathers and grandfathers receiving charges from police for worshipping Christ with our church. It is a dark day for Waterloo Region and Ontario,” the elders asserted.
Jesus is “the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and therefore we must honour and obey him above all earthly governments,” they asserted.
According to the church’s website, live worship services will continue this Sunday at their building on Lobsinger Line with a maximum of a 30 percent building occupancy in accordance with provincial requirements."
Photo courtesy: ©Sparrow Stock
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.