Tim Stephens, the pastor of a Baptist church in Calgary Canada, has been arrested for the second time for continuing to hold in-person gatherings breaking the cap imposed by covid restrictions in the area.
The lead pastor of the Fairview Baptist Church was arrested on Monday after holding a church service outdoors.
A video from Rebel News showing Pastor Stephen's arrest has been circulating on social media. The father of eight can be seen being walked out of his home by officers while engaging in a debate on the religious and legal grounds of his arrest.
"The rules certainly don't apply to everyone equally. Why is it pastors that keep getting arrested for this?" he says.
"Right now, we are just doing our job. So, if you hadn't broken the order or the rules that are set up right now, I would not be here," officers replied.
The video also shows his children crying and saying "bye Daddy" while Pastor Stephens gets in a barred police car.
In a statement, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) said that Stephens had been arrested "for allegedly violating a Court of Queen's Bench Order".
"CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen's Bench Order obtained by AHS. STEPHENS, acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with an illegal outdoor service, ignoring requirements for social distancing and reduced capacity limits for attendees," the statement reads.
Pastor Stephen's wife, Rachel Stephens, took to Instagram to ask for prayer. She said: "We are shaken, but our faith is not. We are sorrowful, but always rejoicing. As I prayed with the saints tonight, I couldn't help but sense their joy at this opportunity to proclaim the excellencies of our Lord Jesus. In God's providence, Tim's imprisonment will strengthen us in the faith and embolden us to love and obey Christ, no matter the cost.
"Pray for Tim to stand firm; that he would meditate on the love of Christ and his sacrifice for sinners; that he would be comforted in his chains. Pray for his release," the post reads.
Pastor Stephens will remain in custody until his next court date on 28th June.