During a citizen protest in Ottawa, Canada, RAIR Foundation USA caught up with Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, who was embroiled in court battles earlier this year for holding mass in the parking lot of the Church of God in Aylmer, Ontario after being commanded to stop by the police chief.
After holding drive-up services successfully for six weeks in the beginning of the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, an image of the church parking lot posted on social media prompted “a flurry of complaints” to police, as reported in June at the London Free Press. As a result, the “town’s police chief warned the church to stop holding the gatherings or face charges.”
Pastor Henry did not stop holding mass, so police “began monitoring the services – filming vehicles in attendance and turning over an evidence package to the provincial prosecutor…”
“We continued having our church services, what we call ‘Drive-In services,’ and of course they said they were illegal,” the Pastor explained to RAIR, as “…the spirit of the law is that we were supposed to flatten the curve, right?” Pastor Henry Hildebrandt stated that they knew that they were following the spirit of the law, as members of the congregation were in their vehicles at all times with the windows closed as they listen to the Pastor’s sermons through their radios, and also through live streaming.
The Pastor continued to say that police started showing up to his services (see below video) and took videos of parishioners and images of licence plates.
At the time of the police chief’s arbitrary interpretation of the law, liquor stores were open, abortion providers were open, etc. The Pastor pointed out that the parking lots of those establishments during that period were certainly not following the law as interpreted by the police chief, yet those businesses were not targeted as his church was. “Our parking lot was the safest one in town,” he said.
Holding up the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Pastor Henry pointed to the Preamble:
“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”
The case went to court, Pastor Henry explained, and ultimately went to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who added an amendment in favor of church parking gatherings to the emergency coronavirus legislation that outlawed groups of more than five people.
“We have to stand for our God-given freedom,” Pastor Henry Hildebrandt declared.
Watch the following RAIR exclusive interview with Pastor Henry Hildebrandt:
Watch police monitoring one of the services at the Church of God: