Tim Stephens is now the third pastor in Alberta to have been imprisoned for continuing to worship in defiance of restrictions implemented by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.
The Western Standard reported that alongside Pastor Artur Pawlowski, Pastor James Coates and Chris Scott of the Whistle Stop Café, Pastor Tim Stephens has been specifically targeted by Health Minister Tyler Shandro as a high-profile rule violator.
The idea that officials are selectively applying the law to certain individuals in order to make a point is extremely problematic, a concern which has drawn immense international scrutiny to the questionable governance of an already embattled United Conservative Party caucus.
The grounds upon which Pastor Tim was arrested have also been called into question. He was arrested under the terms and restrictions laid out in a May 6 order which were amended prior to his arrest. The May 6 order originally applied to any Albertan (Jane/John Doe) and stipulated potential arrests for any gathering in violation of COVID restrictions.
But prior to Pastor Tim's arrest, a judge ruled that the order would in fact only apply to parties named in relation to the Whistle Stop Café.
The arrest of Tim Stephens occurred after this amendment, and according to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, Pastor Tim’s legal counsel, his arrest was executed illegally.
Legality and politics aside, Pastor Tim Stephens is a kind man with a large family, who was plucked away from them unlawfully and thrown into a maximum security prison like a violent criminal.
His story has garnered international attention. In the eyes of world, something is fundamentally rotten in Alberta. It is vital that we remember that these pastors who are being thrown behind bars are human beings.
These experiences are traumatizing for everyone involved, including the families and congregants of these faith leaders. Other media outlets are happy to deride and denigrate these imprisoned pastors, but as always Rebel News is here sharing the other side of the story.
Fresh out of jail, Pastor Tim Stephens joined me to talk about his life, his church, his arrest, and his faith.