Much Like Edmonton's GraceLife Church, Saskatoon's Fellowship Baptist Church, led by Pastor Steve Flippin, have been allegedly ignoring public health restrictions on congregation capacity, according to the bureaucrats who enforce these rules.
That's not to say that Fellowship Baptist doesn't take the pandemic seriously — they have hand sanitizer and masks if you want to use them — but the congregation has decided that they will not turn away anyone who wants to worship with them.
For Fellowship Baptist's act of obedience to God over government, the church as an entity has received a $14,000 fine from the Saskatchewan government, as well as several masking tickets.
And, shockingly, the church's elders received criminal obstruction charges for refusing to let health officials and police enter the church during services, even though disrupting a worship service contravenes Section 176 of the Canadian Criminal Code. The elders were upholding the law, not breaking it. The health officials were the criminals.
But this story gets even crazier. Pastor Steve and his wife are foster parents, and in the middle of March, Steve's wife and foster child came down with COVID-19. The whole house immediately quarantined, including Steve. His quarantine was up just before Easter weekend, which meant that Steve would be able to preach.
That's when public health officials tried to arbitrarily extend Steve's quarantine — and only Steve's quarantine — to extend beyond the Easter weekend. Health officials were trying to keep this Christian pastor off the pulpit on Christianity's most important day.
However, public health rules haven't stopped Pastor Steve and his congregation yet, and this fake extension of the quarantine was no different.
Rebel News sent videographer Sydney Fizzard out to Saskatoon to talk to Pastor Steve as he and his congregation prepared to hold a Holy Saturday service in a local park. When the interview was conducted, Steve was risking an expensive quarantine violation ticket for preaching to the open air church.
Religious freedom continues to be one of the greatest casualties of the pandemic.