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Canadian pastor arrested for holding worship services released on bail

‘I want to thank you guys, you can let them know, your listeners and readers, that I felt supernatural peace over [in jail],’ Pastor Artur Pawlowski told LifeSiteNews.
Wed May 12, 2021 - 2:07 pm EST
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Pastor Artur Pawlowski Artur Pawlowski TV / YouTube

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CALGARY, Alberta, May 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian pastor who was arrested Saturday on a highway and subsequently incarcerated for holding worship services amid provincial lockdowns is now out of jail after being granted bail. He said that thanks to all his supporters’ prayers, he was calm and at “peace” while in jail for nearly three days, emphasizing that “prayers do work.”

“I want to thank you guys, you can let them know, your listeners and readers, that I felt supernatural peace over there,” Pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam church, located in Calgary, Alberta, told LifeSiteNews.

“You know, I am a Polish man, I really like to eat, since my arrest I didn’t eat all day,” explained Pawlowski, who said he was offered food but declined. “My last meal was Friday … I felt zero hunger, nothing, so much peace. God gave me this time to fast. I was really impressed by the prayers; I felt that we were not alone in this craziness. I want the Christians to know that the prayers do work.”

Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski were arrested by members of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) on Saturday in a highway takedown, and charged with “organizing an illegal in-person gathering.”

The weekend arrests followed a church service held at the Cave of Adullam church, which went against an earlier warrant issued against Pawlowski and his church, barring them from holding services in violation of COVID rules.

The pastor had earlier made headlines for calling police and health inspectors coming to his church on two unannounced health visits “Gestapo Nazis.”

Section 176 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to interrupt a church service, and also to arrest an “an officiant” when they are returning home from a service.

Last week, Alberta Health Services (AHS) obtained a court injunction against all “organizers of advertised illegal gatherings and rallies breaching COVID-19 public health orders,” allowing them to arrest and charge anyone associated with such gatherings.

It was reported in late April that Pawlowski could be facing fines and jail time after being served with a warrant, should he not allow officials to inspect the church.

Pawlowski’s and his brother were released on bail Monday, after the pair’s lawyers hired with the help of Rebel News worked for nearly two days straight to get them out of jail.

A judge had originally granted the pair bail early Monday afternoon, but it was not until 7 p.m. that Pawlowski and his brother walked out of the Calgary Remand Centre.

Pawlowski is a well-known street preacher in Calgary and is renowned for feeding the homeless. He has been running Calgary-based Street Church Ministries for over 20 years and has been a vocal opponent to coronavirus lockdowns.

They threw me there like a piece of meat on the floor, I have bruises to this day”

Pawlowski told LifeSiteNews that when being arrested on Saturday, he was thrown in the middle of the road to his knees, then dragged and tossed in to the police car “like a piece of meat.”

“They thew me there like a piece of meat on the floor, I have bruises to this day. I had to lay on my shoulder in the car, I thought I was going to break my shoulder. I’ve never had so much pain in my life, at least in a recent memory,” said Pawlowski.

Video of Pawlowski’s arrest, which has been viewed thousands of times and has gone viral, shows multiple police cars surrounding the car Pawlowski was riding in with his brother on a busy road in Calgary.

A police officer can be heard telling Pawlowski he and his brother were being pulled over to be arrested. Once outside the vehicle, Pawlowski was placed on his knees and cuffed in the middle of the road.

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During his arrest, Pawlowski screamed multiple times to police to “do it the Nazi style,” with police then proceeding to drag him across the road to the police car.

Video shows his brother Dawid being dragged away in a similar manner.

Pawlowski fled communist Poland and recently told LifeSiteNews that the continued police presence at his church gives him bad memories of growing up behind the Iron Curtain.

Treatment in jail

Pawlowski and Dawid both spent their first 24 hours at the Spyhill Arrest Processing Facility in Calgary.

On their way to the Spyhill facility, Pawlowski said that police suddenly stopped on the side of the road, at which point he and his brother were read their rights. Pawlowski said he thought and sensed that the cops inside the cruisers were “feeling happy” to have him in custody.

When they arrived at the facility, Pawlowski recounted that he could sense hatred towards them from some of the staff, but that changed after a new shift came in.

“There were some really, really crazy Nazis there that were not very nice, they were denying us access to our lawyers,” Pawlowski told LifeSiteNews. “Then the shift changed, and we had real Christians come in. I asked for the Bible, the second shift gave me a Bible and a coffee, which was really nice.”

Pawlowski told LifeSiteNews that he is thankful for two officers at the Spyhill facility, who he said treated him with kindness.

“St. Sgt Campbell, when he heard we were in the cells with nothing, he came to talk he offered us food, after 24 hours, a mattress. He showed us kindness, he showed us concern and kindness, I really want to thank him. Then the other guy, his name was Thomas Daniels, gave me a coffee and a Bible … You want to give up on the system, it is rotten to the core, there are still good people there … Because you know in this craziness, we also have to remember that not all of those people are evil.”

Pawlowski was in a different cell than his brother. He said he could not sleep at all as they left the lights on all the time. “There were bright lights, for 24 hours we couldn’t sleep or lay down,” Pawlowski told LifeSiteNews.

We had true Nazis, real, real Gestapo style people in there”

After one day at the Spyhill facility, Pawlowski and his brother were taken to the Calgary Remand Centre, at which he said things took a turn for the worse.

“We had true Nazis, real, real Gestapo style people when we were taken to the Remand Centre. We were treated like dogs, no pillows, no mattress,” said Pawlowski.

He told LifeSiteNews that both he and his brother were mocked by some staff for their faith, with a few of them making gestures saying “praise the lord, praise the lord,” in front of everyone.

Despite the mockery, Pawlowski said it did not faze him, noting that if anything it made him realize some of the “evil” he was dealing with.

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He noted that his lawyers were not notified of where they were taken for a very long time, calling this “strange,” considering that police knew he had legal representation.

Pawlowski told LifeSiteNews that a shift change at the Remand Centre resulted in better treatment, including being given a mattress to sleep on.

“The wicked Gestapo went home, and another one comes in and right away they recognize me, I was offered a phone call, and treated better,” said Pawlowski.

This changed when yet another shift change came, which Pawlowski said was the same “Gestapo” shift in place when he first got to the Remand Centre.

Pawlowski blasts Alberta’s Premier saying “shame on you” for going after Christian pastors

The province of Alberta’s COVID health rules enacted under United Conservative Party (UCP) Premier Jason Kenney recently capped church attendance size at only 15 people, with mandatory masks and physical distancing.

LifeSiteNews asked Pawlowski if he had a message for Kenney regarding what happened to him, as well as regarding strict COVID-19 rules in Alberta limiting church size.

“I’m a pastor, I just open the church for the adults,” said Pawlowski. “You [Kenney] judge me in the name of the law, but you have broken every law that there is in the book, not just men’s law, but … God’s law. Shame on you.”

Pawlowski characterized the laws restricting church services in Alberta to only 15 people as “unconstitutional, wicked, evil.” He said he is barred from attending rallies or breaking any COVID-19 health rules. Now, as he is to appear before a judge on May 20, he will be strategizing with his lawyers on next steps.

This is the second time a Canadian pastor has been arrested and jailed because they held church services in defiance of draconian COVID-19 health rules. Notably, both arrests have taken place in a province under Kenney, who is a Catholic.

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The first Christian pastor to be arrested and jailed was Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Spruce Grove, Alberta. He was jailed for over a month.

Coates’ trial has been adjourned to June 7, at which time a judge will give his decision on the “Charter breaches and potential remedy.”

Contact information

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney

Office of the Premier

307 Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 780-427-2251

To contact your local MLA, visit the link below:

https://www.assembly.ab.ca/members/members-of-the-legislative-assembly


  alberta, artur pawlowski, coronavirus restrictions, jason kenney, lockdowns, religious freedom, religious liberty

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