Article

Wall Case

ARPA lawyer John Sikkema has delivered the final paperwork to the Supreme Court of Canada in the “Wall Case”. That’s the case involving a Jehovah’s Witness congregant who wants the courts to overturn his dis-fellowshipping – essentially his excommunication – from a JW congregation near Edmonton. Sikkema says the complainant is arguing that being a member in a church is essentially “contractual”, and that courts are empowered to enforce contracts. Mr. Wall, Sikkema says, “expected (that) in return for participating in church (he would be) treated a certain way, (and that the congregation) broke their side of the bargain by not treating him fairly.”

Sikkema filed a 12-page factum; a summary of the legal arguments that ARPA is presenting in opposition to the idea that judges have any right to rule on cases of church discipline. “You can’t reduce a church, in its essence, to just a contract. Churches claim authority over people not based on a kind of voluntary agreement, but based on the authority that Christ gives to the Church, which is a spiritual authority. Churches have a claim to authority just like the State does. The Church respects the State’s sphere of authority, just as the State – including judges – should respect the Church’s sphere or authority.”

The case will be heard at the end of November. ARPA will have 5 minutes to present oral arguments.

Church, Freedom of Religion, Wall Email Us 

Get Publications Delivered

TO Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about upcoming events, action items, and everything else ARPA
Never miss an article.
Subscribe