Alta. faith leaders call on church to follow public health rules
GraceLife Church, west of Edmonton. (CTV News Edmonton)
EDMONTON -- Local faith leaders are calling on the religious community to follow public health orders.
On Tuesday, 27 faith leaders shared an open letter originally released in December after GraceLife Church's pastor was charged with failing to follow health orders.
“We shared (the letter) at that time as an expression of commitment on behalf of a pretty diverse group of people to voluntarily, and willingly, go along with the advice we were being given by the experts,” said Reverend Dr. Scott Sharman with the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton.
“In these last few days there’s been more attention drawn to the question of whether the measures are fair… we felt it was time again to reissue the statement and draw some attention back to this other vision of what faith communities are about.
“Not as a way of trying to throw stones or pick fights with others.”
The letter encouraged all Albertans, regardless of faith, to follow the advice of medical experts.
“Not merely adhere to them begrudgingly and minimally but willingly and with an overabundance of care,” the group said in their statement.
Sharman said he does not believe the current health restrictions go against people’s religious freedoms, which some have argued throughout the pandemic.
“People’s religious freedoms have been spoken to and protected, but also the faiths that are being protected are themselves calls on those communities to sometimes put their talk of rights aside when it’s to the benefits of others,” said Sharman