If you need some backstory on what happened to James Coates for refusing to comply with the ungodly tyranny of the Alberta authorities, here you go:
Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church refused to shutter his church's doors, citing the illegitimacy of the government to enforce such an order on houses of worship and health data that contradicted the official narrative that the 'Rona was a walking death sentence.
Coates was dragged off to jail and told by a judge that he must promise not to preach in order to be released. He refused, beginning a stint in prison alongside hardened criminals.
Alberta authorities sent hundreds - yes, hundreds - of police officers to forcibly close the church and prevent parishioners from getting into the building, even constructing a fence to that end.
The church then began to meet secretly at a different location, working to elude authorities. They effectively became the first underground church in Canada, mirroring brothers and sisters living under fear of regimes in places like China and Iran.
The church released a statement in the midst of this that was one of the most powerful things I've read in my lifetime - a call to bravery and obedience to God that spread around the world.
Despite meeting secretly, the church rallied to protest the unlawful and unjust detainment of Pastor Coates.
After 35 days in jail, Coates was released, but charges against him remained.
Now, more than TWO YEARS after this nightmarish mess, Coates is to be acquitted of all charges that our moral middle-managers in the government lobbed at him.
After more than two years of legal wrangling, Alberta Crown prosecutors intend to ask the court to acquit Pastor James Coates and Grace Life Church of all charges that were laid during the pandemic, The Epoch Times has learned. This follows a court decision on July 31 that ruled public health orders issued in the province were invalid and enacted outside the powers of the province's Public Health Act.
Do you see what happens when you are brave enough to stand? Canada's lockdown was so insane that they had security following unvaxxed shoppers in stores to make sure they didn't get "unessential" items.
Two years later, even the government itself has been forced to admit that it acted illegally (and more importantly, immorally).
In an exchange of emails seen by The Epoch Times on Aug. 22, Edmonton Crown Prosecutor Karen Thorsrud states she has "received and reviewed" the earlier court decision and does not intend to call any further evidence in the case of the pastor.
Ms. Thorsrud, who did not return requests for comment by press time, said in an Aug. 22 email to government lawyers and counsel for Pastor Coates that she would "invite an acquittal from the court" and would be writing to the court advising of the Crown's intention. Ms. Thorsrud said she would be seeking direction on whether the matter could be dealt with in docket court on Aug. 30, or proceed in a non-docket courtroom.
Again, it took TWO YEARS for this decision to be made.
Pastor Coates's lawyer, Leighton Grey, said that his client has agreed to the acquittal proposal. Mr. Grey told The Epoch Times in an interview that the earlier July 31 court decision, in which he was involved as well, is "going to expose the Alberta government to substantial civil liability."
There are times to show mercy and times to pursue justice. The latter is what is needed. Don't let the petty tyrants hurt anyone else in their lifetimes. Protect the weak and defenseless who were abandoned, imprisoned, and excommunicated by their civic leaders.
It's worth noting that the path for civil liability was opened in large part because Pastor Coates stood up.
In spring of 2021, following months of protests, intense pressure, and media attention, Alberta prosecutors decided to withdraw all but one of the Public Health Act charges still levied against Pastor Coates and his church. Criminal charges of breach of condition were also withdrawn.
At the time, Pastor Coates and his lawyer Mr. Grey would not agree to have all charges dropped as they wanted the matter heard at trial and intended to challenge the constitutionality of health orders.
Carry out justice, love faithfulness, and walk humbly with your God. Thank you for leading by example, James.
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