CBN recently reported on an interview that Rebel News had with Tim Stephens, a pastor in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who was arrested for holding an outdoor church service, and ended up spending 18 days in jail.
Alberta Health Services order the pastor’s arrest after police used a helicopter to track where the church was holding its outdoor service. Stephens was subsequently arrested in front of his children
He described his imprisonment as a “very dehumanizing experience” as he was put in a small cage and only allowed out a half hour a day. He said all he had to sleep on was a “thin hard mattress” and didn’t even have a pillow.
For the most part, he was treated well by the inmates, who didn’t believe he should be imprisoned for holding a church services.
During his prison time, God gave Stephens the opportunity to share his faith and minister to several inmates, even those professing to be atheists. It was so impactful, that Stephens believes God had put him there for a reason.
He also commented on the recent rash of arson attacks and vandalism of churches across Canada after the discovery of several unmarked graves at Indian Residential Schools.
Though the church is being blamed for the deaths, Stephens noted that the bulk of the blame actually falls upon the government.
As I reported in the past, it was the federal government that:
- Initiated the Indian Residential School program, and then asked the churches to operate them.
- Threatened parents when they refused to send their kids to the schools.
- Failed to properly fund the program resulting in students being underfed, making them susceptible to TB and the Spanish flu that swept the schools in the early 1900s,
- Refused to pay for the return of the children’s bodies to their parents when they died, forcing the schools to set up cemeteries.
- Refused to pay for permanent stone markers for the graves, forcing the schools to use wooden crosses that deteriorated over time, and
- Refused to maintain the cemeteries once the government closed down the schools.
Yet, today, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is deflecting the blame for government’s role on the church. READ: Trudeau Says Anger ‘Fully Understandable Given the Shameful History’ as Churches Burn Down
Stephens added that it reminds him of how the Roman Emperor Nero who blamed the Christians for the Great Fire of Rome, when people started suspecting Nero set the fire.
“Christians have been a scapegoat throughout time. Because for the most part, Christians turn the other cheek rather than strike back.”