Christian group tests city hall tolerance

Street preacher Artur Pawlowski, left, and Jim Blake, chairman of Concerned Christians Canada, pray among a group of Christians outside council chambers yesterday.

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KATIE TURNER METRO CALGARY Published: November 16, 2011

Taking a page from Occupy Calgary’s book, members of the Christian community gathered in City Hall yesterday to test their own limits of expression.

“Last week, Occupy Calgary came out and they had a Buddhist, sort of Tibetan ceremony here in the lobby with meditation and everything else, and it seemed to go well,” said Jim Blake, chairman of Concerned Christians Canada.

“So, that’s why we’re here today, to see if that climate and openness is still here at City Hall.”

The group sang gospels, recited scripture and prayed for mercy upon anyone who has come against the Christian community, including members of council and the city’s legal department.

City spokesperson for Corporate Properties Kerry Joyes said anyone is free to congregate within the atrium of City Hall, as it’s a public space.

“As long as there is no obstructive or destructive behaviour, they’re free to do that.”

Ald. Ray Jones, however, said this could open the door to more groups.

“It seems like we’re becoming a little more touchy-feely nowadays,” he said.

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