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Chilliwack RCMP investigates in-person church services for violations of COVID-19 orders

Click to play video 'Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings' Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings
Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings – Dec 6, 2020

The Chilliwack RCMP says it is investigating whether in-person church services held Sunday contravened provincial health orders meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Although the vast majority of places of worship in Chilliwack and throughout our region are complying with the directions of the provincial health order, a small number of congregations continue to conduct in-person services contrary to” the order, the RCMP said in a Sunday media release.

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B.C. faith leader pushes back against COVID-19 restrictions – Nov 22, 2020

Read more: Church elder ‘shocked’ by COVID-19 outbreak at his Kelowna church

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It comes after several churches in the Fraser Valley held in-person services last Sunday, defying the regulation they say violates their constitutional rights.

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Langley’s Riverside Calvary Chapel was issued a $2,300 fine for violating the order.

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More B.C. churches planning to defy health order and hold in-person services – Dec 1, 2020

Police said they would not comment further, in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of “all individuals.”

Read more: Northern Alberta prayer event linked to over a dozen positive COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Both Free Grace Baptist Church and Free Reformed Church in Chilliwack also held services last weekend.

The province banned in-person worship on Nov. 19, citing surging COVID-19 case numbers.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there had been transmission in such settings.

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