British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Oct 24, 2020

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Bishop Cline Briefly Detained Under Curfew Law

Well known Bishop at the New Life Baptist Church, John Cline said he was not breaking the curfew law when he was arrested at about 11 am on Sunday, moments after delivering a sermon to online viewers from his church at Duffs Bottom.

“I was in church preaching the gospel. I was well within the law, I followed protocol,” he said via a Facebook live video on Sunday.

He claims that he was given permission by Minister of Health and Social Development, Hon. Carvin Malone, to attend church with three others today.

He stated that he had applied for 20 passes initially, but that was turned down, and he was permitted to have three instead.

The crucial passes, that would enable one to be able to pass law enforcement officers without being arrested and charged, was not yet delivered to Cline because the office responsible for issuing them had already closed for the day.

Telephone Permission


Bishop Cline informed that realizing that he would be without the passes, he called Minister Malone and told him of the dilemma.

“I told him the names of the persons, I told him the time, and then he said to me, ‘okay, you can go ahead," Bishop Cline recalled.

The Minister, according to Cline, promised to inform the Police.

Arrest & Release


Nonetheless, just after delivering a live sermon, he was informed that the Police were there to him at the church, where he was arrested and taken to the Road Town Police Station.

Bishop Cline said Minister Malone was able to inform the Police that he had given him permission, and he was cautioned and released.

The other members of the church had passes from their respective posts in the public service and were not arrested.

Police Information Officer Akia Thomas confirmed that ‘one male’ was arrested for “breach of curfew. He was cautioned and warned for the offence and released,” she said.

Bishop Cline had challenged the Government on limiting social gatherings which ultimated affected the church. Then, he threatened to break the curfew, but withdrew and promised to abide by the provisions being instituted by Government to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

He ended Sunday's service by advising viewers to stay home.

"Yes stay safe, stay healthy, yes please stay inside because the radio frequency that is in the air is damaging to your health....I'll see you again soon," Bishop Cline stated.

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