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CALGARY, Alberta, June 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Days after holding an outdoor service amid severe coronavirus restrictions in Alberta, Pastor Peter Reicher, filling in for the previously jailed Pastor Artur Pawlowski, was visited by police and served an injunction violating COVID health rules. His church was vandalized the next day.
After Pastor Artur Pawlowski’s infamous highway arrest, Reicher has taken over pastoral duties at Pawlowski's parish in Calgary, Alberta. Since taking charge of the parish, Reicher has held two outdoor services.
During the most recent service, the police drove by several times, and a police helicopter flew over the area. However, there was not direct contact with the police or a clear indication that they were scouting out the area.
On May 6, 2021, Associate Chief Justice John Rooke of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued a restraining order forbidding citizens to gather to publicly protest or to encourage such gatherings.
This order allows police to arrest, detain, and imprison anyone who disobeys the injunction. After being served with the injunction, to avoid arrest, a person must sign a document promising to forgo their Charter freedoms.
Reicher was served this court injunction on May 24 while feeding homeless Calgarians.
According to Rebel News, on June 11, police visited Reicher and demanded that he sign a document promising to comply with the provincial ‘health’ regulations. They threatened to arrest him if he refused to obey. The interaction was livestreamed by Reicher’s wife, Axa.
After receiving advice from his lawyer, Reicher submitted to signing the papers, noting that he was doing so “under duress.” He was given a provincial court summons and agreed to attend a fingerprint appointment. “This is communism today in Canada,” he told the officers.
In many places, society is now "reopening." But, in some states and countries, unacceptable discrimination is being leveled at churches and church-goers.
This petition calls on politicians to reject anti-religious discrimination and allow churches to be reopened along with the rest of society.
Even as society returns to normal, politicians in various states and countries are imposing discriminatory policies on churches. Here's a short list of some egregious examples:
- The government of New Zealand has passed new legislation into law that allows only 10 people to attend a religious service while allowing 100 people to gather in other public places such as restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theaters.
- In France, the “deconfinement” decree of May 11 prolonged the prohibition of all public religious services, indefinitely, while the partial reopening of shops, businesses, public transport, small museums and primary schools was permitted.
- In the province of Alberta, Canada, new guidance seeks to forbid Holy Communion by prohibiting the "sharing of communal items (e.g. communion chalice)."
- In the U.S. states of Illinois and California, the governments will continue to restrict church services at the same time as it begins to reopen manufacturing, schools, child care facilities, and offices.
When everything else is reopening, this kind of discrimination is wrong!
And, it is not clear why churches are being held to a different, more exacting standard than other similar venues where people gather in numbers. But, they are.
"The fact that these double standards are being imposed in places with liberal majorities, such as Illinois and California, makes it hard to believe that these could be accidental oversights, and makes it look more like cases of anti-religious discrimination. Either way, the situation needs to change quickly," said Gualberto Garcia Jones, LifeSite's Director of Advocacy.
After 9/11 Americans poured into their churches. Now, as society reopens, we must not allow godless elites to discriminate against churches by keeping them closed.
As long as safety standards are being adhered to, there is no reason why churches and church-goers should be locked out of their places of worship, even as the bar or the theater next door welcomes a hundred people.
Please SIGN this petition which urges politicians to allow churches to reopen at the same time the rest of society reopens. Thank you!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'New Zealand allows crowds to return to malls, restaurants, but not churches' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-zealand-allows-crowds-to-return-to-malls-restaurants-but-not-churches
'France’s highest administrative court to hear Catholics’ case for overturning public Mass ban' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/frances-highest-administrative-court-to-hear-catholic-petition-on-overturning-public-mass-ban
'Canadian province bans Communion distribution, singing as churches reopen' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-province-bans-communion-distribution-singing-as-churches-reopen
'Illinois gov: Churches can’t fully reopen until corona vaccine or ‘effective treatment’ developed' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/illinois-limits-churches-to-50-people-until-covid-19-vaccine-released-more-than-a-year-away
''California unveils long-term reopening plan, delays churches as ‘higher risk’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/california-unveils-long-term-reopening-plan-delays-churches-as-higher-risk
Reicher encouraged the officers to uphold their oath to serve the people and asked them if they truly believed they were serving the people. “God bless you,” he told officers after signing.
Reicher’s wife, Axa, told officers that, “the devil has deceived you!”
“I have a recommendation for you,” she continued. “You need to go home and repent! Because what (you're doing is) criminal.”
“So you get paid to persecute Christians?” she asked an officer. “We get paid to do our job, yes,” the officer responded.
The following day, congregants at Reicher’s church found large amounts of horse manure, garbage, and needles spread throughout the parking lot. This act of vandalism is preceded by another indecent wherein nails and dog feces were left in the parking lot. In addition to this, Pawlowski’s home has suffered an arsonist attack.
In April, Pawlowski began a series of legal battles after police and a health inspector entered his church during Easter services. Pawlowski ordered them to leave, condemning their attempt to shut his church down and telling them, “Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here.”
When police visited his church for a second time, Pawlowski told them, “I do not cooperate with Nazis. Talk to my lawyer … You came in your uniforms like thugs. That’s what you are: brownshirts of Adolf Hitler.”
In May, after a highway takedown, Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, were arrested and charged with “organizing an illegal in-person gathering.” He was released two days later.
Recently, Pawlowski was accused with breaking his court order by delivering a sermon about resisting “government tyranny.” Pawlowski continues to fight these injustices in court.
To contribute to Pastor Pawlowski’s legal expenses, donate at LifeFunder.
Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney
Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Email: [email protected]
To contact your local MLA, visit the link below: