In which we seek to understand why James Coates took his stand against the Alberta government
Startling events in Canada brought the long dormant question of the relationship of church and state to the forefront of Christian minds. On Feb 16, 2021, in Edmonton, Alberta, pastor James Coates turned himself in to the police because of repeated violations of orders from the Public Health Officer of the province. Pastor Coates refused comply with an undertaking to obey a court order until his trial date, so he remained in custody for 35 days. Three weeks after his release from custody, on April 7, the police fenced his church property and posted security guards so no one could access the building.
Some Christians applauded Pastor Coates, some other pastors in Alberta and Ontario. Despite this, most Canadian pastors disagree with Pastor Coates’ approach to the government orders. Many of these sympathize with his plight and that of his church, but can’t agree with the direction he took.