CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The leader of a downtown Calgary church is speaking out against GraceLife Church and Alberta Health Services (AHS), after the church was closed.
In a release issued online, Revered Greg Glatz from Knox United Church said it was good news to hear the church was being closed but the downside was that it took so long.
The church outside Edmonton, received 18 tickets for violating public health orders which asked it to remain within 15 per cent for its services.
The first offence occurred in late December 2020 and every Sunday since, the church building has been filled, sometimes over regular capacity.
After several warnings and tickets, the church’s pastor was arrested, but later released after most of the charges were dropped by the Crown.
On Wednesday, officials with AHS closed the roads leading to the church and fenced off the property, confirming they have closed the church as a result of the violations.
In his release, Glatz said the delay in enforcing the rules hundreds, if not thousands of lives at risk.
“The primary cause of this serious health risk is, of course, not AHS but GraceLife Church itself. Under the guise of religious freedom, the church has pronounced itself exempt from public health regulations and ignored the biblical imperative to obey governing authority.”
The biblical imperative Glatz referenced is New Testament passage that calls on Christians to “be subject to the governing authorities.”
A lawyer representing GraceLife said they plan to file a subpoena, calling for Dr. Deena Hinshaw to appear at the trial for Pastor James Coates.