Christians in Canada are fighting an uphill battle against the full force of government to gather and pray, even when they meet social distancing requirements.
Under Manitoba’s COVID-19 restrictions, houses of worship have been targeted. They cannot lawfully gather, unlike private businesses. That’s why the congregation of Church of God near Steinbach, Manitoba, pivoted to drive-in worship. Christians planned to remain in their vehicles while pastor Tobias Tissen used a microphone, and the congregation tuned in via car radios. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were dispatched to ban Christians from entering the church grounds by blocking the entrance with patrol vehicles.
“You can go back into Winnipeg and go to Walmart, and there’ll be 800 cars in the parking lot, just like there is in Costco, but we can’t go in this parking lot because it’s deadly? What if I put a Walmart sign on that building? Would that make it better?” a congregation member reportedly said.
But pastor Tissen continues to assert the high ground and refuses to bend the knee to Canada’s secular government. The following week, he issued a defiant post on Facebook.
“This worship service will be held in protest of these tyrannical edicts,” the pastor posted.
Unlike the RCMP’s scandalous action the previous week, officers were not forced to break up the drive-in service. Instead, government officials issued a $6,000 fine.
“Public health is to allow humans to be human. We are not virtual beings. We are human beings. We are not cattle that we need to be fenced in and controlled,” pastor Tissen reportedly said. “We are in devotion to Almighty God. We are here to serve the Lord. This is our conviction. God has commanded us in the Bible that we should gather together. If we ever needed to pull together as humanity, for the right cause, it is now.”
Secular politicians in the U.S. attempted to ban religious worship until President Donald Trump and Republican governors designated the practice essential. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened people of faith and tried to effectively shutter churches and synagogues. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down their tyrannical mandates because Americans have a constitutional right to religious freedom.
Although Canadians are supposed to enjoy the same religious rights, the growing secular forces in government trampled the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
An open letter penned by Senior Pastor Henry Hildebrandt reportedly states, “the Bible teaches Christians to be good citizens and obey the reasonable demands of our government.” However, it does not “teach blind obedience to the authorities when onerous restrictions are placed on our freedoms.”
Authorities have repeatedly tried to mask their attack on Christianity under the disguise of public health risks. If that were true, no one in Canada would be allowed to sit in a car. It’s abundantly clear the Canadian government is taking advantage of the pandemic to wage war on God, and people of faith in the name of COVID-19.