Some church leaders across the UK are continuing to rebel against lockdown rules by keeping their churches open.
Last week, police intervened at a church in North London while a baptism service was being held. Speaking to Premier, Pastor Regan King said: “It's not done in a spirit of anger. It's not done in a spirit of insubordination, but with respect, and a recognition that while there may be costs, we may at some point be fined...but suffering, even for doing good is a blessed thing”.
Director of Affinity, Graham Nicholls, told Premier he is aware of more churches that are defying the rules but haven’t decided to go on record.
“I believe there are other evangelical churches who've taken a similar position to Regan but chosen not to publicly share this," he said.
Affinity is an organisation that represents more than 100,000 evangelical churches across the UK.
“We acknowledge that Christian leaders have a range of views” he added. “Some believe the closure is a wise move to help protect the NHS and public health, whilst others are convinced that the closures are unlawful and unreasonable, yet still seek to obey the restrictions.”
Under current lockdown rules in England, churches are only allowed to open for private prayer and for broadcasting purposes.
Although Nicholls neither commended nor condemned pastor King´s actions, he believes that it is important to speak up when one feels that the government has acted disproportionately.
“It is encouraging to see a church leader who is led by the conviction that ultimately, we're in the service of the King of Kings, and is, therefore, willing to take a stand and speak on the record — irrespective of the consequence — when he believes the state has overstepped its role.”
Elsewhere in the UK, Nottingham-based Christian bookshop 'The Mustard Seed' was fined £17,000 for failing to comply with regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In Northern Ireland, some pastors are planning to keep their churches open during a two-week lockdown which comes into force on 27th November.