Pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Street Church in Alberta, Canada was arrested on Saturday for holding a church service that allegedly defied public health orders.
Pawlowski was arrested along with his brother, Dawid, and both have been charged with organizing an “illegal in-person gathering,” in addition to “requesting, inciting or inviting others” to join them, the Calgary Police Service said in a statement.
A heavily-armed SWAT team just took down a Christian pastor heading home from church. Police say he’s charged with “inciting” people to go to church. This is the second pastor jailed this year. We’re crowdfunding his lawyers at https://t.co/bMwAj1iNfP pic.twitter.com/RZ913cQns3
— Ezra Levant ???? (@ezralevant) May 8, 2021
“It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing,” the statement said.
Pastor Pawlowski previously went viral when police officers interrupted a Passover celebration at his Alberta church. The widely shared video on social media shows him yelling at the officers until they left.
Pastor Pawlowski told The Daily Caller after the video went viral about the parallels he has seen between his upbringing behind the Iron Curtain in Poland and Canada’s covid-19 lockdown orders today.
“I grew up in Poland under the boot of the Soviets, behind the Iron Curtain,” Pawlowski said. “What I see right now, I see everything escalating and moving to the new level. They’re acting just like the Communists were acting when I was growing up when the pastors and the priests were arrested, and some were murdered. Many were tortured.”
Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions are some of the strictest in North America with Ontario recently allowing police officers to interrogate citizens for their address and purpose for not being at home if they fail to comply with stay-at-home orders. (RELATED: Video Shows Cops Cracking Down On ‘Illegal’ Gathering Of Six People In Canada)
It is unclear if Pastor Pawlowski remains in police custody.
I just got off the phone with one of Artur Pawlowski’s lawyers. It has been six hours and police are refusing to allow Artur to talk to his lawyers (or his son). This isn’t an arrest. It’s a rendition — a police state kidnapping. https://t.co/bMwAj1iNfP pic.twitter.com/RZ913cQns3
— Ezra Levant ???? (@ezralevant) May 9, 2021