A congregation that was swarmed by nearly 80 police officers on Sunday, breaking up the service and even slamming one member on the ground for no discernable reason, are crying foul at the goverment’s harsh tactics that saw them raided and forcibly dispersed under threat of arrest and jail.
Mere days before this incident occurred, law enforcement came for their Pastor, Paul Furlong, who heads up Revival Church in Melbourne, Australia. He was arrested and remanded into police custody, eventually being charged with incitement.
His crime? Releasing a video on social media threatening to have a church service on the weekend – an act prohibited by the state of Victoria. They are in the throes of a stringent statewide lockdown after a handful of people tested positive for COVID, throwing nearly 6 million people into an emergency closure. (Reports vary from between 4-11 cases that sparked the emergency procedures.) In the video, Furlong tells his audience:
My church is open. I’ve said I would not shut the church again. This Sunday at 10 a.m., my church the Revival Church in Narre Warren…we are open for worship. Many of you may hear me declare that I have chosen to obey God over man. This comes down to a freedom of religion, movement, association.”
There is no word on when he will be released from prison.
Despite his arrest for making that status update, the church went ahead without their pastor and has a service anyway, an act of defiance that was quickly met with an overwhelming force of officers. They surrounded and barricaded the original park where was the first service was to be held, and followed them to this location after they moved to an adjacent area.
Speaking to Rebel News, the unidentified man who was body-slammed by officers, said in a statement:
So we’re being pushed out, of the park. As I was moving I was just simply asking a question ‘for what reason are we, am I being moved on for?’ And then just simply for asking those questions, they decide to assault me and take me to the ground and do their thing.
Completely ridiculous! I mean, they need to tell me the reason I’m being moved on for. But I think the fundamental reason they’re doing this, it’s pure intimidation. Anyone who dares to speak out or actively put themselves on the line to disobey this arbitrary show directions, they come out in force to prove a point. Like we’re the state get in line – that’s what it is.
It’s communist-style policing.
The video of the man being choked and forced to the ground begins at the 03:40 mark. There is some cursing, as along with the church gathering, there were many journalists attending, some who have not yet learned to tame their tongue.
For longer commentary on this video from a Christian perspective, click on The Bible Thumping Wingnuts’ video.
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