It was a somber feeling to see around 100 Catholics kneeling to worship in the pouring rain to protest against British Columbia’s public health ban, which has forced places of worship to close their doors to their communities, no matter what COVID-19 prevention measures they have in place, and no matter how desperate some may be to worship there.
At 12 p.m. on Sunday, parishioners met across the street from Vancouver’s Holy Rosary Cathedral to form a socially distanced pilgrimage. Aside from practicing their fundamental right to freedom of religious expression, the purpose of the pilgrimage was to advocate restoring the public celebration of Mass. The peaceful protesters held signs with slogans like “Church is essential,” and sang songs of worship together. They were led by former Vancouver Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly, whose contract with the Canucks was recently terminated due to him publicly advocating for the fundamental freedoms of Canadians to be upheld.
On Nov. 19, Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made worship political by banning all in person religious gatherings in a blanket type fashion. Dr. Henry also failed to provide transparent data supporting her decision to close places like churches while keeping open nearly everything else, including gyms, pubs, indoor fun parks and busy stores that don’t sell essential items.
We at Rebel News have been following this assault on religious freedom in Canada that has resulted in churches receiving thousands of dollars in fines and even threats of violence being directed towards pastors who feel they are compelled to stay open for those who believe in person worship is essential.
B.C.’s orders have left many people of faith, including the Archbishop of Vancouver, baffled by the restrictions. Especially since Catholic parishes had worked so hard to implement COVID-19 safety plans.
I spoke with the pilgrimage’s spokesperson, Matthew Palmer, and others about why Christians are taking this stand, and how it is being perceived by religious leaders in their community.
If you represent a place of worship opening your doors to members of the community who feel they need to attend, head to IWillOpen.com. That’s where we can stand with you while you explain why it’s essential for you to do so.
To apply for help, or donate to our legal clinic that provides free legal counsel to Canadians receiving tyrannical fines in the name of COVID-19, please head to FightTheFines.com.