Pastor Jim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church in Alberta was arrested in front of his family on Monday, a week after the government seized his church building and forced his congregation to worship underground.
Stephens was also arrested briefly last month, but the charges were dropped when authorities realized they had forgotten to serve the pastor with the court order they were accusing him of violating. Classic bureaucratic mistake!
On Sunday, however, a police helicopter (!!!) discovered Stephens and his congregation meeting secretly in a new location. While authorities haven’t said why a police helicopter was circling the area looking for dissidents like North Korea, it led to the congregation being surrounded by police cruisers.
Police didn’t stop the time of worship, but observed and then arrested Stephens on Monday at his home:
— Adam Soos ⳩ (@ATSoos) June 14, 2021
Listen to the wails of his family. Are you proud of yourself, Canada? Are you making a better world?
I just got a tip that the police may be on their way to arrest me. Why? I continue to lead our church to worship Jesus as Lord over every earthly power.
More to come… Pray brothers and sisters. Stand firm, keep the faith.
— Tim Stephens (@tim__stephens) June 14, 2021
Attendance at these churches has grown, even as the congregations meet secretively to avoid government persecution. It’s funny how tyrannical leaders never seem to understand how the Church grows the more it is harassed!