Pastor Phil Hutchings of His Tabernacle Church in Saint John, New Brunswick spent over seven days in jail for the crime of allowing his congregation to gather freely in the face of COVID places of worship.
The shocking story of what happened to Pastor Phil, his church and his associate pastor, Cody Butler, has been wildly underreported given the extent of government overreach involved.
The church itself was repeatedly surveilled by local police and health authorities, with services interrupted when officials barged in to check for COVID compliance.
The restrictions at the time in New Brunswick forbade singing in church, required mask wearing and forced congregants to social distance and respect capacity limits. Butler was even arrested while preaching on Thanksgiving Sunday. Hutchings family was harassed at his home.
But it didn't stop there.
Hutchings was then summoned to court, where he was held in contempt of a court order requiring him to abide by public health restrictions. Hutchings then spent seven days in jail, in isolation.
Hutchings joined other Canadian pastors who met the same fate of incarceration at the hands of a judge. Tim Stephens, Artur Pawlowski and James Coates all spent varying lengths of time behind bars for obeying their conscience and their interpretation of holy scripture over the lockdown restriction of the day.
Pastor Phil Hutchings and his family are receiving much needed legal help at no cost to them in partnership with the registered Canadian charity The Democracy Fund. Hutchings is out now, but his freedom is still at risk and the courts in New Brunswick want to lock him up again for honouring God before the government.
To donate to Pastor Phil's legal fund, and to sign our petition calling on the government to back off and leave Phil and his church, please visit: www.SavePastorPhil.com. All donations to www.SavePastorPhil.com qualify for a charitable tax receipt.