A judge from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton has ruled that Pastor James Coates will remain in custody until his May trial date, unless he agrees to bail conditions.

Lawyers for Coates argued on Thursday at a bail hearing the Coates could not in conscience agree to the conditions that required him to comply with provincial health orders limiting worship gatherings to 15 per cent.

Justice Peter Michalyshyn ruled on Friday morning that there were no legal errors in the initial release decision, according to the Edmonton Journal.

The judge says in his decision that Coates' "beliefs and conviction, without more, do not overcome those valid and enforceable laws. He remains subject to the rule of law.”

Coates is the pastor of GraceLife Church just outside of Edmonton and refused to limit gathering sizes. He turned himself into officials on February 16. He has remained in custody since then and has a trial date set for May 3-5.

"A trial set eight weeks down the road was too long for an innocent Pastor to be in jail," says lawyer John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms which has been representing Coates and the church.

"Pastor Coates is a peaceful Christian minister. He should never have been required to violate his conscience and effectively stop pastoring his church as a condition to be released. In every way this was a violation of Pastor Coates’ Charter rights and freedoms."

Prosecutors argued on Thursday that Coates' release would mean a danger to the public.

“Charter freedoms do not disappear because the government declares regular church services to be outlawed while allowing hundreds of people to fill their local Walmarts,” says Carpay.