‘Nothing Will Stop the People of God’: Ontario Police Lock Church Doors, Fine Congregants, Target Outdoor Service
Another Canadian congregation is standing its ground against government intimidation and persecution after their church was locked down by police last Friday.
The Church of God in Aylmer, Ontario was forced to vacate its building for reportedly violating emergency orders put in place amid the pandemic.
Under the current rule, both outdoor and indoor religious services are capped at 10 people with physical distancing measures in place.
Another sad day in Canadian history. This afternoon we (the congregation of the Church of God at Aylmer) were ordered to vacate the building where we have met for decades to worship our Lord.
To God be the glory, He is worthy of all our praise.#StandWithGod pic.twitter.com/ExlqfNiX35
— Pastor Henry Hildebrandt (@aylmerpastor) May 14, 2021
The church was previously fined $50,000, and two pastors were handed fines totaling $10,000 each. Plus the church faces another $100,000 in legal costs.
With their building shut down, church members set up an outdoor worship service on Sunday but were confronted by Aylmer police again and handed more fines.
In a Facebook post, Aylmer police claim there were over 400 worshippers at the outdoor church gathering.
Pastor Henry Hildebrandt and several others say the emergency order infringes on freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. The Church of God is determined to continue worshipping without limitation or interference.
— Pastor Henry Hildebrandt (@aylmerpastor) May 16, 2021
In a recent video, Pastor Hildebrandt reflected on recent actions taken against the church, declaring that “nothing will stop the people of God.”
“Our forefathers, even our leaders of this country, whether it was in Canada or the United States or anywhere else, were well aware that we must have God on our side,” the pastor stated. “But our kings, prime ministers have forgotten. God is forgotten. Religion has been a form for decades and here we are. God has been forgotten and now we have to go through these things. Fences are built around meeting houses, doors are locked, pastors are put in prison all because of what the past has been.”
He added, “We have been praying and we are receiving the verdict this morning directly out of God’s hands. Nothing will deter us. Nothing will stop the people of God. Nothing can hold God back. God is on His throne and right now He has the kings and government officials in derision. They have no idea what to do. They’re handling this backwards instead of us as we always knew that in Canada we were innocent until proven guilty – now we are guilty until proven innocent.”
“Our government right now is allowing unelected health officials to push our judges to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens. I trust that this will be a wake-up call like never before,” he continued. “This is not the end… this is the beginning of where things are going. By the grace of God, we will stand and stand firm. God is my leader. God is on His throne and God is right. It has never gone well when people fought against All Mighty God.”
There has been a widespread crackdown on Canadian churches this year, leading to the arrest of multiple pastors and shut down of numerous churches.
CBN News reported that police in Calgary arrested the pastor of the Fairview Baptist Church in southeast Calgary on Sunday for organizing a worship service that did not comply with public health orders.
And Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested on May 8 for allegedly holding a church service that violated new public health orders against gatherings.
Pawlowski and his brother Dawid were accused of organizing and attending an in-person gathering earlier that day.
Pastor James Coates with GraceLife Church of Edmonton was jailed in February for holding worship services. Police told Coates that he was under arrest and must agree to stop preaching.
The pastor stated that he could not do that “because to do so would violate his conscience and prevent him from fulfilling his duty as a minister to lead his congregation in worship.”
Please continue to pray for all congregants and pastors who are being targeted for gathering according to their faith.