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March 1, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A freedom coalition group that called for an end to COVID lockdowns invited all Christian churches in Canada to a “week of prayer and fasting” from February 28 to March 6.
The “Week of Sacred Assembly: Prayer and Fasting for our Nation” is spearheaded by The Liberty Coalition Canada (LCC).
“Liberty Coalition Canada is calling on all Christian Churches in Canada to hold a week of prayer and fasting for our nation from February 28 to March 6. Please consider joining in,” reads the webpage promoting the week.
“You can join the Prayer & Fasting Facebook group to let everyone know your church is joining, to share ideas, and to encourage one another.”
Michael Thiessen, campaign manager for LCC, told LifeSiteNews that the idea for prayer and fasting was formulated when the group realized there was an an “overwhelming need to seek the Lord God Almighty.”
“Medical professionals are acting as if they truly believe they can manage a virus by locking healthy people away. Our provincial politicians allow themselves to be bullied to follow one single narrative about the lockdown situation,” Thiessen told LifeSiteNews.
“Police are charging and now arresting church goers and business owners. Our seniors are isolated like prisoners. Our youth are struggling with stress, depression, and heavy levels of anxiety and, we rob from our grandchildren to pay the bill so that these measures can still feel comfortable to us.”
PETITION UPDATE (3/22/2021)
Pastor James Coates has been freed!
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the legal counsel which has been representing Pastor Coates, just issued a statement saying that Alberta's Crown Prosecutors have decided to drop all but one charge against Pastor Coates, paving the way for him to be released soon.
This is a great victory, God be praised!
Please READ LifeSiteNews' latest article on this latest and unexpected turn of events for Pastor Coates.
While Pastor Coates will still have to stand trial for the one remaining charge in May, he will at least be free to prepare for the hearings, and to celebrate Easter with his family and congregation.
Thank you for taking part in this campaign advocating for Pastor Coates' release!
Of course, with a trial still pending, he's not out of the woods, yet. But, this is a gigantic step in the right direction.
During his trial, we will keep you updated as to his status and we will continue to support Pastor Coates.
We will also keep fighting to ensure that Canadian people of faith like him are never persecuted for exercising their right to worship freely.
Until the trial finishes, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition in solidarity with Pastor Coates. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (2/24/2021) -
There have been two important, recent updates to the ongoing imprisonment of Pastor James Coates in Alberta, Canada.
First, Alberta's Premier, Jason Kenney has spoken out about Pastor Coates' incarceration.
Please READ LifeSiteNews' article about Premier Kenney's intervention, here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-premier-who-jailed-christian-pastor-claims-he-is-protecting-fundamental-freedoms-of-religion
And second, Pastor Coates' wife addressed a crowd of supporters at the jail in which her husband is being held, saying in part:
"People keep asking us what can you do for us? Open your churches. Open your churches! Take a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ and take a stand for the people! Love them, open the doors, that’s what we need to do right now."
To read about Mrs. Coates visit to see her husband at the Edmonton Remand Center and her full remarks, please CLICK on the following news article from LifeSiteNews: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wife-of-jailed-candadian-pastor-tells-supporters-the-best-way-to-protest-is-to-open-your-churches
Then, please SIGN and SHARE this important petition. Thank you!
Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Alberta, Canada has been ARRESTED for refusing to comply with extreme and likely unconstitutional government Covid regulations that ban people from gathering to worship in their church of choice.
You read that right: Even churches aren’t exempt from Trudeau Liberals’ all-out attack on peoples' freedoms in the wake of this pandemic.
But, Pastor Coates needs to be released immediately, and MPs must take steps to rein-in the extreme Covid regulations which provincial governments are using as an excuse to trample on essential freedoms.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition and STAND WITH PASTOR COATES.
Send a strong message to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Justice Minister Lametti, as well as to all Members of Parliament and to Canadian Provincial Premiers, that this CANNOT stand.
Some government officials are hoping to make examples out of faith leaders like Pastor Coates, who refuse to comply with unreasonable government demands to close-off places of worship to their own congregations.
That's why he remains in custody to this day.
But, no Canadian should ever face jail time for exercising their God-given, Charter-guaranteed rights, and action MUST be taken.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition.
NB: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE FROM CANADA TO SIGN THIS PETITION.
Pastor Coates, who leads Grace Life Church in Edmonton, Alberta, originally suspended in-person services and church gatherings in good faith and out of concern for his congregants after Trudeau’s government first introduced Covid restrictions last spring.
However, the church reopened over the summer when it became clear that Trudeau’s shutdowns were here to stay, and that congregants would be indefinitely limited in their worship size or again banned from in-person worship altogether under their guidelines.
After Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, enacted new restrictions in November that cap all faith-based gatherings at 15% of building capacity (a major blow to churches that wish to resume worship for their members), Pastor Coates kept Grace Life’s doors open to anyone and everyone who wished to proceed with normal practice of their faith.
However, this simple exercising of congregants’ Charter rights was met not only with governmental resistance, but an unreasonably disproportionate legal response.
Pastor Coates was arrested and then quickly released on February 7th for practicing his faith alongside congregants, and arrested AGAIN on February 16th for the same reason.
Pastor Coates remains in custody today for refusing to allow Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his health officer Deena Hinshaw to infringe upon his congregants’ civil liberties any further.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which calls for the release of Pastor Coates, and asks Canada's MPs to take action to ensure that Canadian people of faith, like him, are NEVER persecuted for exercising their right to worship freely.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Alberta govt jails pastor for holding COVID-non-compliant worship services' -
The webpage for the prayer and fasting week lists activities surrounding faith churches can do to stay active during the week, such as “Circuit prayer stations in the church building to cover topics like: Responding to the Names of God, Worshipping through the Attributes of God, Prayers of Repentance, and Prayers for the Nation.”
Also listed as ideas are a “24/7 continuous prayer divided up into hour time slots,” a “church-wide day of fasting,” prayer walks, and extra worship and prayer services.
LCC says everyone is “free to share” their promotional image of the prayer and fasting week on their respective social media channels to help promote the event.
The group’s Facebook page for the event is open to the public and as of press time listed more than 230 members from various churches across Canada.
One of the churches partaking in the prayer and fasting week is the Aylmer, Ontario, Church of God under Pastor Henry Hildebrandt.
He has been a vocal opponent to government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown measures and, along with others from his congregation, received fines for defying the local health orders.
On Twitter, Hildebrandt called on everyone to join him and others to join in the week of prayer and fasting.
He told all of his followers on Twitter that he was “happy” to see “so many Christian freedom fighters come to the maximum security Remand Centre today,” to fight for religious freedom.
Coates was jailed for ministering to his congregation in a manner that violated COVID rules limiting church size and mandatory mask wearing.
Coates is awaiting a trial date of May 3-5. He and Grace Life are being represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).
JCCF lawyer James Kitchen told LifeSiteNews that the plan is to appeal Coates’ bail conditions in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in hopes that he can be freed before his trial date. A trial date of March 3 has been set for his bail hearing appeal.
LCC lists itself as “a national network of clergymen, elected officials, small business owners, legal experts and other concerned citizens,” started with the effort to “reopen Ontario Churches.”
In addition to the week of prayer and fasting, LCC has also led a declaration called The Church Must Gather, which demands that with or without the “permission of the civil authorities,” places of worship be allowed to gather “in-person.”
Readers are invited to take the time to defend the religious liberty of Canadians by filling out our VoterVoice Alert to free Pastor Coates.