An open letter was sent to Justin Trudeau this week, rebuking him for using the Emergencies Act in an attempt to stop the Freedom Convoy as well as other actions that they called “tyrannical.” The letter was signed by 29 clergymen.
The pastors explained their earnest, repeated attempts to prayfully redress their grievances at all levels of government concerning “indefinite suspension civil liberties coercive mandates perpetual state interference in life, freedom, and worship of the Church” and denounced Trudeau’s decision to crack down on the Freedom Convoy rather than listening. They stressed that clergy members are part of the convoy.
They wrote that the Ottawa protest had given their government a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk to ordinary Canadians lawfully, peacefully requesting the restoration of their constitutional rights.
Trudeau’s government was also criticized by the pastors who claimed that they believed they had the power to grant or remove fundamental rights at their will.
Your government doesn’t grant people the right of bodily integrity, to work or earn their living, to choose for their children, to be with their loved ones or their dying parents, to worship God and to travel in their country or leave it. These pre-political freedoms and fundamental rights are protected by civil government. It does not grant them or take their place as God’s.
Pastors also condemned Trudeau’s “unprecedented invocation of The Emergencies Act” to stop Freedom Convoy protests, and blockades. They stated that there is no national emergency, and that to invoke one to crush peaceful political dissension is a totalitarian act depressing strength not weakness.
They warned that “these tyrannical acts are exposing the government and people to God’s judgment, and we are deeply worried that you don’t appreciate the significance God’s wrath on a rebellious nation.”
Trudeau was urged by the pastors to repent of his sins of pride and rebellion against God as well as false witness.
They added that they had not shown a brotherly love and concern for the honest, hard-working people who tried peacefully to bring their very serious concerns before you.
A video circulated widely via social media of Ottawa police in riot gear tackling convoy protesters. They arrest, tear-gass, and then send officers on horseback through crowds.
Rev. Rev. Tim Stephens was also arrested last year, right in front of his family. After a helicopter spotted his Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary, Stephens was arrested again. This prompted Senator Josh Hawley (Republican from Missouri) to write to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to ask it to add Canada to its watchlist.
Liberty Coalition Canada, a Christian activist group, organized the pastoral letter. It was also behind the call for ministers from Canada and the United States on Jan. 16, to dedicate their sermons to denouncing Bill C-4. A new Canadian law that doesn’t affirm homosexuality or transgender identity could result in a five-year sentence for counseling.
Around 5,000 churches participated in the protest from their pulpits, less than one week before the first convoy left Prince Rupert, British Columbia.