A half-dozen police showed up and sought to shut down an outdoor church service in Toronto, Ontario, disrupting them in the middle of serving communion and giving the pastor an $880 fine on account of the church having more than 10 people gathered – a violation of the province’s lockdown laws which prohibits church services to 10 people, irrespective of location, and non-church services to 5 people.
Pastor David Lynn of Christ Forgiveness Ministries was holding his service in the park, preaching to around 30 congregants when he was approached by several police officers. They told him that they had received multiple calls from concerned citizens about the number of people present and they gave the church the option to disperse immediately or stay and be given fines.
After a bit of back and forth, where the police informed him that they had no charter rights to gather, and even if he called his church a “protest” in a bid to stay, protests were now against the law as well (unless it was BLM, cough cough).
Given that there were around 30 people present, Lynn asked the congregation to move away from each other and cluster into 3 smaller and separate churches.
He pointed out to the police that there were now multiple churches present, and that he was going to preach to his church of 10, and if other churches of 10 gathered nearby happened to hear it, then so be it – that he could not stop them, and so concluded the rest of the service.
After the service concluded, he was approached by police and given the $880 dollar fine for organizing an event over 10 people – refusing to hear arguments of how they were technically three separate congregations on account of being dispersed and separate from others.
Lynn took the ticket and told them he would be there next week.
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