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Oh, Canada: Pastor Arrested for Pastoring in Alberta

(FRC) On Tuesday, James Coates, pastor of Grace Life Church in Alberta, Canada, was arrested and placed in police custody for violating Canada's public health orders. Police officers and representatives from the Alberta Health Service (the "AHS") arrived at the church on Sunday. After monitoring the service, they determined that the church had violated public health orders, which limited attendance to 15 percent of building capacity and required attendees to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Pastor Coates voluntarily turned himself in to police on Tuesday after he was told that police planned to arrest him.

This is not the first time that the church has been monitored by local health officials. Beginning in November 2020, officials from the AHS monitored the church's worship services every week, counted the number of congregants in the sanctuary, and recorded whether they were wearing masks and practicing social distancing.