With news that the police have barricaded GraceLife Church, cutting off all access to the property and pledging to stay present until they cease gathering together as an entire body, protesters are beginning to show up en masse in support for the church and their pastor – the most visible symbol in Canada standing up to a tyrannical government gone awry.
Choosing to occupy the church, Alberta Health Services contracted a local company put out two perimeter fences around the church, one wrapped with a black tarp- essentially putting a mask around it. They brought in porta-potties and set up a command post, digging in for a long haul. There have been as many as 30 officers on site over the course of the day, flanked by a dozen police cars and SUVs.
Thankfully, the landowner next door is a member of the church and has allowed people to gather on his property. They’ve been coming and going throughout the day – both associated with the church and not – protesting, rallying, fellowshipping, and even at some point singing hymns, with someone passing around lyrics sheets to follow. Later in the evening, some of the people even held a small service in a field.
As night fell, several brought out tents and camped out, spending the night in vigil for the congregation and for what they see as the destruction of Canada’s freedoms.
With the exception of Rebel Media, no other reporters are allowed on the neighboring property, and therefore watch from across the street. And while the people protesting this wicked incursion are allowed on the property, these hundreds of people gathered are still in violation of a shutdown order that prohibits outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people. Anyone violating this order could be fined $1200 at any time, but it seems the government isn’t willing to enforce that yet. There has been talk that police are going to close the roads to local traffic only, so that anyone wanting to access the neighbors property who isn’t the neighbor will have to park on the side of the road and walk more than a mile to the site.
And more people are coming. Travelers are coming from both in and out of province to support the church, with a convoy coming from Calgary to lend their moral support, promoted by the niece of a much-loved prominent politician, the late Hon. Ralph Klein. These are not necessarily Christians, but rather freedom-loving Canadians appalled at what the government is doing. With the possible closure of the roads, this may cause chaos on the highway, depending on how many show up.
Thankfully, these provocations have finally led many Members of the Legistlative Assembly (MLAs) to act, with almost 30 percent of them revolting against Premier Jason Kenny, and he in turn threatening to expel anyone from caucus who supports the actions of the church by seeking to contravene his COVID-19 restriction measures or encourage others to do so. Alberta is widely considered one of the most conservative provinces in the country, and a recent poll has 77 percent of Albertans disapproving of the way Kenny has handled the pandemic, the highest of any premiers.
At this time, the elders are still planning on having church on Sunday, but that location has so far been kept a secret. They are going to announce it internally to their own people later this evening or early Sunday morning – the result of shifting plans.
Continue to pray for this congregation.
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