A Canadian pastor has been acquitted of violating Covid-19 lockdown rules.
Pastor Tim Stephens, from Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary, became the third pastor to be arrested in 2021 for continuing to host in-person services surpassing the attendance cap imposed by covid regulations in the area.
He was later released after spending 21 days behind bars.
In a statement, his attorneys at the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) shared the Provincial Court of Alberta's decision to drop the charges.
"We are pleased that the Court has acquitted Pastor Stephens on the charges of not complying with a public health order."
"Pastor Stephens was illegally arrested and imprisoned for having allegedly violated the public health orders, which have since been shown to be ineffective and harmful.
"This decision sets the record straight about the justifiability of his actions and about the importance of respecting Charter rights and freedoms."
Pastor Tim took to Twitter to celebrate the court's decision.
"This is vindication, not only for me, but vindication that the government grossly abused their power.
"In all of this, I rejoice since the gospel of Jesus Christ went forth in power, and Christ built his church. All glory to God!"