This week, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a resolution asking the US Commission on International Religious Freedom to add Canada to your watch list from countries where religious freedoms are threatened.
State Representative Tim Ginter introduced the legislation, saying Canadian lawmakers mishandled COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and targeted churches, Faithwire Reports. In one case, Alberta officers arrested and jailed James Coates, the pastor of GraceLife Church in Edmonton. He was jailed for more than 30 days for holding in-person worship services in violation of government lockdown restrictions.
“This resolution is not the result of a single incident or even a handful of incidents,” Ginter said in a statement. according to WKSU-TV. “It is a persistent pattern of religious rights violations that has brought us to this point,” she added.
Ohio State Representative Reggie Stoltzfus also said Coates’ treatment was unacceptable.
“While Ohio has upheld religious freedom and protected the right to attend religious services, it is clear that Canada has not done the same,” Stoltzfus said, describing the nation’s mandates as “very similar to what we see in the Communist controlled China. ”
In an interview with CBN’s Faithwire, Coates also said the restrictions felt like the beginning of “totalitarian” measures.
“I think this is going to continue to happen; there will still be battles,” he explained, calling his experience a “practical illustration of what taking a bold stand on God’s Word looks like.”
In another case, Alberta pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested and spent two months in solitary confinement for inciting “mischief” when he participated in the “Freedom Convoy” along the U.S. border. United and Canada. The Freedom Convoy was a rally led by truck drivers against pandemic restrictions.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in Ohio say the resolution isn’t necessary.
“We should be addressing the issues our constituents are asking for, like tougher gun policies, legislation to protect women’s rights, and reforming our rigged criminal justice system,” said State Rep. Latyna Humphrey (D). “Right now, we are focusing on matters that are not even within our jurisdiction.”