A Calgary area pastor has potentially received up to $2.1 million in financial penalties after hosting church services for congregants over the last several weeks.
Pastor Tim Stephens has been preaching at the Fairview Baptist Church to a growing congregation. Since news broke early last month that the church was open, Fairview locals have been flocking to the church.
Despite the recent fines, Stephens hasn’t been swayed by government pressure to stop holding religious services. He says that it is Jesus, not the government, that dictates what Christians must do.
“The reason we gather is not only just for ourselves, but to see freedom be brought back to our whole society and nation,” Pastor Stephens said, explaining why the church is hoping to galvanize support for in-person church services to be held by Easter.
Police have been visiting Stephens’ personal residence to issue him the fines, and have also been entering and disrupting the church service to gather evidence. Disrupting a religious service is illegal, as per the Canadian Criminal Code.