Canada reportedly heightened its anti-Church efforts as another pastor--this time from Steinbach, Manitoba--was arrested for holding worship services outdoors.
CBN News said Church of God Restoration Pastor Tobias Tissen was arrested on October 18 during a traffic stop after months of avoiding the police. Tissen was issued a warrant of arrest in May that prohibits him from preaching to more than five people during outdoor gatherings.
The bail hearing for Tissen was scheduled for October 19 but it was rescheduled at a later date since he objected to the restrictions imposed by the authorities on his duties as a preacher.
Previously, Canadian Pastors James Coates of Alberta, Tim Stephens of Calgary, and Artur Pawlowski have been arrested by police for conducting worship services in violation of the COVID-19 restrictions.
In an interview with Fox News, Tissen revealed that church leaders are being attacked by the police based on his own experience of being prohibited from holding worship services. Tissen disclosed that he and other churches have filed lawsuits against Manitoba for its extreme restrictions on COVID-19.
"They had these conditions that I wasn't allowed to attend any gatherings that were in contravention of COVID-19. And that would automatically prohibit me from going to church and preaching. And I could not agree with that," Tissen said.
"(There is a) fight between good and evil, and they're targeting those public figures that are in the lead who are fighting against the evil," he added.
Tissen shared his reflection on the Bible in line with what is currently happening now. He cited Paul's letter to the Ephesians who underscored the reality of spiritual warfare Christians are beset with. He also likened Canada's COVID-19 restrictions against religious practices as an overreach of "Caesar" in godly things, citing the passage on it in the Bible.
"In Ephesians, it says that we're fighting against spiritual wickedness in high places and principalities and powers. That's it, right now, what we see. And they're after all of us who are giving to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. But now, Caesar wants that which belongs to God. And as Christians, we just cannot. We cannot comply with that," Tissen emphasized.
Tissen was released from prison last October 21 and announced it in his Twitter account. Tissen pointed out his reunion with his family was something he have so-longed for, calling it a "blessing."
The post included a 34-second video of him coming out of detention as his wife hurriedly approached him with a hug and kiss. The video then showed his two very young children hugging him next. As of writing, the video clip had been viewed 8,900 times and received 335 likes, 60 retweets, and 4 quoted tweets.
"What a blessed moment this was! Was waiting for it for about 45 hours," Tissen remarked.
But despite the post not trending, Tissen's arrest last week has brought attention to the world, especially to other Christian leaders who expressed support of him. One of the religious leaders that gave him support is Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham who expressed concerns over Canada's decline from being a "freedom-loving people" to one of "disturbing" COVID-19 restrictions that are "some of the world's strictest." Graham urged people to "pray for Tissen and his church."
"What's happening in Canada should concern freedom-loving people everywhere. It is extremely disturbing as it relates to pastors and churches being targeted," Graham said.
"Earlier this month the Canadian Prime Minister announced some of the world's strictest COVID-19 vaccine mandates. By the end of the month, all employees in any federally-regulated industries are required to be vaccinated or face termination," he added. "And, unbelievably, anyone who wants to travel by plane, train, or ship must also be vaccinated. Where's this going to end?"