Christian bookstore closed down amid UK COVID-19 lockdown

Despite the lockdown in the United Kingdom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses have chosen to operate. However, the Police in England have embarked on a hunt for a Christian bookstore and a tea room that defied the COVID-19 law. In the process, two men have been arrested for violating the order.

This incident occurred at the Mustard Seed, a Christian bookstore in Gedling, Nottingham on November 14, 2020 according to the BBC. The men at the bookstore were detained and asked to provide information about themselves. However, they refused. Hence, they were arrested, detained, and fined an equivalent of $267.

Earlier this month, the business owner was told by officials to close down temporarily but the shopkeeper still continued to operate despite the second nationwide lockdown was announced. Fines were issued after they defied the order.

The business owner, Chris Stala felt she was not violating any law after she posted a notice in the window indicating that it stands "under the jurisdiction of common law". Also, she cited article 61 of the Magna Carta which stated that "We have a right to enter into lawful dissent if we feel we are being governed unjustly." She said that she is taking a just stand.

Stala affirmed that she is not a rebel and believes that what she is doing is lawful. Hence, she is standing up for what she tagged as right and moral. For flouting the lockdown orders, she has been fined a total of $22,700. According to Stala, her aim to remain open was to provide a place of support for struggling community members with mental health issues.

However, the Mustard Seed was closed due to an order from the Mansfield Magistrates' office. Councilor John Clarke with the Gedling Borough Council said officials had no other alternative but to shut down the business. Apart from being closed, fines were also issued or possible imprisonment for anyone found on the premises.

In addition, Clark stated that the owner has been given several chances to follow the order but to no avail. There has been a constant flouting of the order. However, there are more implications beyond the fine. A possible imprisonment will probably make everyone to take the laws more seriously.

Jonathan Gribbin, Director for Public Health for Nottinghamshire, said he supports the police actions against the Christian bookstore.

In his words: "I wholly support any action by partner organizations that will protect the health and wellbeing of people in Nottinghamshire."

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