Police in England arrested two men at a Christian bookstore for being inside the business despite orders that businesses stay closed until December.
Officers arrested the two men on Nov. 14 at the Mustard Seed bookstore and tearoom in Gedling, Nottinghamshire. The men refused to give police their names and addresses.
Under COVID-19 restrictions, the bookstore could only operate as a place where customers could pick up their orders. The Nottinghamshire Police sent a closure order to the store under the Anti-Social Behavior, Crime and Policing Act.
This is the second nationwide lockdown in the United Kingdom since Nov. 5.
“Following repeated breaches of the notices we served on the Mustard Seed, which clearly stated that they need to follow the guidance and regulations during lockdown, we have no option but to close it down. We have given the owner several chances to do the right thing and they’ve made the decision to ignore our message. Things are now so serious that they risk imprisonment, which nobody wants to see,” said Councilor John Clarke of the Gedling Borough Council, in a statement, according to the Gedling Eye.
“Our priority has always been to protect our residents and to support the many businesses that have been affected so badly by this pandemic yet are following the rules,” he added. “It is clear, that the owner believes that they do not need to adhere to the government guidelines and we are now in this position. We would urge people not to visit the premises, it is closed and we will be monitoring it closely.”
Chris Stala, the owner of the Mustard Seed, says common law and the Magna Carta should allow the store to remain legally open. The store is already facing four fines totaling some $22,700 for violating the lockdown orders.
“I don’t believe what I am doing is unlawful. I’m standing up for what is right and moral,” she told the BBC.
Photo courtesy: ©Unsplash/jdsimcoe
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.