Police monitoring Chilliwack, B.C. churches that defied COVID-19 restrictions

Several Chilliwack churches are expected to continue hold in-person services in violation of provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

The plans come after the RCMP announced Saturday that it had recommended charges against three churches that had repeatedly violated an order banning in-person worship.

Read more:
RCMP recommend charges against Chilliwack churches that broke COVID-19 restrictions

“On the first two Sundays of the public health order which pertained to in-person congregation, the Chilliwack RCMP took an approach of education and awareness, hoping that we would gain voluntary compliance,” Chilliwack RCMP Sgt. Krista Vrolyk said.

“Last week was the third week and we did have some places of worship that continued to violate the public health order.”

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Police have not said which three churches were facing potential charges.

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Coronavirus: Frustration growing over those in B.C. not obeying health orders


Coronavirus: Frustration growing over those in B.C. not obeying health orders

Global News cameras captured worshippers attending services at both the Free Grace Baptist Church and Chilliwack Free Reformed Church in the city, along with Langley’s Riverside Cavalry Church last Sunday.

Vrolyk said police would be monitoring the situation again this Sunday.

“Chilliwack RCMP will continue to actively investigate any reports of in-person congregation services that we receive,” she said.

Read more:
COMMENTARY: B.C.’s shuttered churches prompt coronavirus-era theological debate

The province implemented a ban on in-person religious services in November, amid surging new COVID-19 cases.

Health officials have documented transmission of the virus in several worship settings.

But some religious groups have pushed back, arguing the restrictions are an unreasonable infringement of their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.





© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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