A pastor from Ontario was reading the biblical Christmas story during the opening night of the Christkindl Market in Kitchener when his microphone was turned off.
Jacob Reaume, senior pastor at Trinity Bible Chapel, initially thought his microphone was cut off by accident — then it kept happening. Before long, Reaume came to the realization, “This is intentional.”
In an interview with CTV News, the minister said his microphone was turned off three times: once during a German Bible reading, delivered by a grandmother in the church’s congregation, and twice when Reaume was reading the biblical account of Jesus’ birth.
Reaume told CBC Radio the entire ordeal left him and his staff “a little shocked” because, prior to that experience, they enjoyed a very good relationship with city officials.
“I certainly hope that in the future the reading of Scripture, which Christians believe is God’s Word, will not be silenced,” the pastor said.
For its part, the city released a statement saying, “In its 22 year history, Christkindl Market has never had Scripture or sermons as part of its scheduled programming and there is no venue for this within the four day event.”
City officials added they were unaware of the religious aspect of the pastor’s short speech.
Reaume, who projected his voice and spoke without amplification after his microphone was turned off, pushed back against the city’s statement, claiming he shared the same Bible passages during his church’s performance in 2017.
“If I was reading Scripture and a Ramadan market, I could understand if people were upset,” Reaume told CTV. “But this is a Christmas market.”
The pastor said people have been “overwhelmingly” supportive of him and his desire to share the biblical Christmas story at the annual Christkindl Market.
Ironically, during his brief message at the local event, Reaume told listeners, “One of the wonderful things about this country, is it was founded on Christian principles. Isn’t that a wonderful thing? But now we’ve come to a point in a country where it’s actually offensive to talk about the incarnation and the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And I think that that’s a shame.”
Regardless, the city stands by its decision, arguing faith “isn’t the issue,” noting the Christkindl Market featured a live Nativity scene at the beginning of the opening night.