More than 40 people gather illegally at Quebec City church

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The Quebec City police service (SPVQ) broke up an illegal gathering of more than 40 people at convicted pastor Paul Mukendi's evangelical centre, Parole de vie, on Sunday.

Mukendi was released by the Court of Appeal under several conditions in March 2020. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 for sexually and physically assaulting a teenage girl.

In red zones, a maximum of 25 people are allowed to gather at places of worship.

Sandra Dion, a spokesperson for the SPVQ, said police didn't hand out fines during the intervention. Police are working to identify the people who were at the centre.

"An investigation is opened, then it will be in the hands of the [Quebec Prosecution service] DPCP," Dion said. "After that, fines could be issued."

Owners of places of worship are responsible for enforcing public-health measures, said Dion. Police didn't confirm whether Mukendi was at the church.

This is the third illegal gathering police broke up in the Quebec City region since Dec. 25.

Other gatherings may have occurred since the police have not yet released a summary of their interventions during the holiday season.