More On: Trudeau
The clergy warned Trudeau that he is separating Canada and 'exposing this government and people to God's wrath.'
Earlier this week, a group of Canadian clergy addressed an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, criticizing him for using the Emergencies Act to stop the Freedom Convoy and other "tyrannical" activities.
"We are writing to you as representative pastors of Christian congregations from across the country and as law-abiding citizens who respect the God-defined role of civil government and uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the highest law of our land, which recognizes the supremacy of God over all human legislation," read the letter, which was signed by 29 clergymen and is still open for signatures from other Canadians.
The pastors chastised Trudeau for cracking down on the Freedom Convoy instead of listening to their repeated, earnest attempts to prayfully redress their grievances with all levels of government regarding "indefinite suspension of civil liberties, coercive mandates, and perpetual state interference in the life, freedom, and worship of the church." They stressed that clerics are included in the convoy.
"The Ottawa protest has presented your government with a wonderful opportunity to meet with and speak to ordinary Canadians lawfully and peaceably requiring the restoration of their constitutional rights," they wrote.
"However, in response to their singing, praying, dancing, candy floss, bouncy castles, speeches about the Constitution and outpourings of patriotic love for the country, your government has not only refused to meet with these citizens to hear their concerns, you have insulted, denigrated and lied about them, further dividing a hurting and broken nation."
The pastors went on to rebuke Trudeau and his government for seemingly believing that they have the authority to bestow and remove fundamental rights at will.
"Your government does not grant people the right to their bodily integrity, the right to work or earn a living, the right to decide for their children or to be with their families or dying loved ones, the right to gather to worship and obey God, the right to travel in their own land or enter and leave. Civil government exists to protect these pre-political and fundamental freedoms, not bestow and remove them as if it can function in the place of God."
The pastors also chastised Trudeau "in the harshest possible terms" for using the Emergencies Act to halt the Freedom Convoy rallies and blockades. "There is no national emergency, and to declare one in order to squash nonviolent political opposition is a totalitarian act of repression that demonstrates weakness rather than strength," they stated.
"These tyrannical actions are exposing this government and people to the judgment of God, and we are deeply concerned that you do not appreciate the significance of God’s wrath upon a rebellious and lawless nation," they warned in closing.
The pastors concluded by urging Trudeau "to repent of the sins of pride, rebellion against God, and bearing false witness."
"You have not displayed a brotherly care and love for these honest hard-working people who have tried to peacefully bring their very serious concerns to your attention," they added.
Video circulated widely on social media Friday of police decked out in riot gear cracking down on convoy protesters in Ottawa by arresting them, tear-gassing them, and deploying officers on horseback through the crowds.
RCMP on horses just pushed back the crowd. The scene in front of the senate building is absolute chaos right now. pic.twitter.com/4ewGRx0njg— Rachel Emmanuel (@Emmanuel_Rach) February 18, 2022
WATCH: Close up of peaceful protestors in Ottawa protesting mandates being trampled by the mounted unit.— K2🍁🚛 (@kiansimone44) February 18, 2022
Yes, this is Canada in 2022. pic.twitter.com/I776GdTIwe
Rev. Tim Stephens, who was jailed twice last year in front of his family as his Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary continued to meet, was among those who signed the open letter. His second arrest, which occurred after a police helicopter saw a church gathering outside, caused Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to write to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), encouraging it to consider adding Canada to its watch list.
The pastoral letter was prepared by Liberty Coalition Canada, a Christian activist group that was also behind the movement pushing pastors in Canada and the United States to condemn Bill C-4 in their sermons on January 16. Counseling that does not validate homosexuality or transgender identity is punishable by up to five years in prison under Canada's new legislation.
Approximately 5,000 congregations participated in the protest from the pulpit, which took place less than a week before the first convoy left Prince Rupert, British Columbia, for Ottawa on Jan. 22.