When armed police entered the sanctuary of the Church of God in Aylmer, Ontario, last month to evict its parishioners and lock their building, Pastor Henry Hildebrandt had a Bible verse ready to read to them.
Hildebrandt and his church had been publicly tussling for some time with the Ontario government over a provincial order restricting even outdoor religious gatherings to 10 people. Both congregants and media were therefore present on May 16 to record when law enforcement showed up during the service with a court order to shut them down.
As the officers made their way toward the front of the church, Hildebrandt read from the third chapter of the Book of Daniel, which recounts the story of three Jewish men named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The men, who had been raised in the courts of Babylon, refused to bow before a golden image erected by King Nebuchadnezzar, who decreed that anyone who failed to worship it would be thrown into a