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Small protest meant to show displeasure with GraceLife Church gatherings

Last Updated Apr 4, 2021 at 4:39 pm MDT

Credit: Laura Krause

EDMONTON (CityNews) — Standing just off the property of GraceLife Church — the congregation west of Edmonton that holds packed services on Sundays — two Albertans wanted to send a message.

The church in Parkland County held another Sunday service — this time on Easter Day — that appeared to violate Alberta’s public-health guidelines for mask wearing, social distancing and capacity limits.

That’s why two Albertans, who chose to remain anonymous, protested peacefully across the road. One of their signs read: “Jesus would say, spread kindness not COVID.”

“We thought we would come and make a statement and use our voices,” said one protester.

Added the other: “We are people of faith and we are unable to gather today. We have a large family and we are unable to gather today. We think that all members of the community should follow the rules because that is a respectful way to live in a society.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) confirmed to CityNews that an inspector visited GraceLife on Good Friday and again Easter Sunday. 

In a statement, they said they “noted what appeared to be breaches of the current Chief Medical Officer of Health’s restrictions related to capacity, physical distancing, and masking.”

AHS says they are continuing to work on further enforcement options, and says it is extremely important that Albertans continue to follow all COVID-19 restrictions.

Other religious leaders have recently voiced pleas for GraceLife to follow restrictions.

Leaders with a mosque and a synagogue in Edmonton said they sympathize with the church’s desire to gather, but that they should follow the rules for the health and safety of the community.

WATCH: GraceLife Church pastor returns after serving jail time (Mar. 28)