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Churches in Langley, Chilliwack, B.C. continue to defy health orders

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CHILLIWACK, B.C. —
A minimum of two church buildings in B.C.’s Fraser Valley hosted in-person companies Sunday in defiance of orders from provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

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Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley received a fine for disregarding the order and internet hosting in-person companies final week, however that didn’t dissuade the church from opening its doorways once more Sunday.

“Actually, from a authorized viewpoint, there’s a whole lot of questions as as to if that order is even authorized,” mentioned Kari Simpson, who attended a service Sunday morning.

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Township of Langley bylaw officers watched as just a few dozen folks entered the constructing, however drove away with out getting out of their automobiles.

It’s not instantly clear if Riverside Calvary Chapel will face one other tremendous or every other repercussions for persevering with to ask folks to worship collectively.

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Simpson, who doesn’t commonly attend companies at that church, mentioned she is working with the congregation because it decides proceed legally.

“They’ll be pleading not responsible to the tremendous,” she mentioned. “Actually, we had been hoping extra fines would occur in the present day as a result of that’s the solely method we will get it into court docket with out the federal government altering the foundations up and making any try and struggle orders moot.”

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Whereas there have to this point not been any authorized challenges to B.C.’s provincial well being orders limiting church companies, a court docket in Manitoba recently ruled {that a} church’s drive-in companies violated well being orders in that province. 

In Chilliwack, Pastor Jim Butler led an in-person service at Free Grace Baptist Church, in violation of the provincial well being order for the second week in a row.

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Final week, Chilliwack RCMP mentioned it took an academic strategy with locations of worship that selected to host companies.

However this week, in an announcement, RCMP mentioned it’s investigating congregations that violated the order.

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“To guard the integrity of the investigation, the proof obtained and the privateness of all people concerned, the RCMP isn’t offering additional remark through the course of the investigation,” mentioned Const. Mike Rail, a spokesperson for Chilliwack RCMP. “On the conclusion of an intensive investigation, Chilliwack RCMP, in session with the BC Prosecution Service, will decide the following plan of action.”

A number of dozen folks had been on the 11 a.m. service at Free Grace Baptist.

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“For myself, I consider in worshipping God with the fellowship of my brothers and sisters in Christ,” mentioned Brendan Vugteveen, who isn’t a member of the church however went as a result of he knew it was open. “I feel that’s extraordinarily essential, not only for obedience to God, however for my very own non secular well being as properly.”

There was no seen RCMP presence on the church Sunday.

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“In the event that they really feel inclined to enact something in opposition to myself, personally, I’m open to dialogue with them,” mentioned Vugteveen. “In the event that they’d like to talk to me, they will.”

Each Free Grace Baptist and Riverside Calvary Chapel additionally stream their companies on-line.

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