Pastor Paul Furlong was arrested Saturday 29th May and has been in jail until today, 15th June. He is being accused of incitement because he attempted to hold a church service which allegedly breached CHO directions at the time.
I can confirm that he was granted bail today.
I attended the hearing and was shocked to hear the criminal terms being used on such a pious and honourable man. Pastor Paul is a charity worker and man of God. He’s been married for over 30 years, has 3 children, a business and has saved hundreds of children from sex-trafficking and poverty. If he is a criminal for exercising his freedom of speech, religion, and assembly…Australia is going down a dangerous path.
The prosecutor was Senior Sergeant Luke Holmes who appeared via webcam wearing a mask alone in a closed room. The most surprising thing he did was attempting to add a bail condition that Pastor Paul be restricted from communicating with myself (Monica Smit) and Nick Patterson, leader of PeaceMakers. The judge declined that condition promptly.
The Pastor is not allowed to communicate via social media whatsoever. His wife, Julie, had to give what’s called ‘an assurity’ of $15,000, which she says is coming out of their personal savings. This means she must help to ensure that Paul doesn’t break his bail conditions. She is obliged to report him to the police or risk losing their savings.
Luke Holmes said more than 5 times that the Pastor is very dogmatic in his views, He explained,” Mr furlong holds his beliefs very strongly, which is a concern for us”. It seems that Paul’s courage of conviction is threatening to the Sergeant.
Are citizens with strong views a danger to society? Or are they a danger to the establishment? I’ll let you decide.
Luke Holmes seemed very unnerved with this particular statement the Pastor said online a few times…“I will obey God over man”. Luke continued to say, “holding mass gatherings puts the entire country at risk” and he justifies the police response by saying their actions were to protect the public.
Luke Holmes also attempted to discredit Paul by mocking his use of common law, his tone was mocking and belittling.
The judge called on Paul’s wife, Julie who is a primary school teacher. You could see the struggle on her face. Being away from her loving husbands for well over 2 weeks has clearly taken a toll on the family. She was asked by the judge “Do you share the same beliefs as your husband when it comes to COVID restrictions?”. Julie took many moments to answer, she said “I am a law-abiding citizen…I believe in the same bible my husband does”.
Paul’s lawyer, Rahmin De Kretser, was very assertive and asked the Sergeant,” Did you take statements from all the attendees as to why they were there?”. Luke admitted that statements were not conducted. Rahmin also made it clear to the court that the offenses committed by the offender are punishable by fine only.
In conclusion, I’m still in shock that all these proceedings are taking place because a Pastor wanted to run his church on a Sunday. Pandemic or not, since when was it ok to restrict our right to faith and freedom of assembly? Should it be our choice what risks we put ourselves in? Or should the government decide which risks we’re allowed to take?
This case is significant for Australia and we will follow it very closely.
Support the Pastor’s case here – https://www.rebelnews.com/breaking_pastor_paul_furlong_freed_from_jail_for_inciting_church_in_melbourne