Canadian pastor arrested at airport warns Americans: 'You're next'
Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who was recently arrested on the airport tarmac upon his return home from a trip to the U.S., has issued a warning to Americans: “You’re next.”
The Canada Border Services Agency arrested the pastor last week for two outstanding warrants — one for not wearing a face mask and another for holding a church service in June. He has an upcoming court hearing on Oct. 13, where a judge will decide whether he'll be sentenced to 21 days in jail for "contempt of court" for holding worship services in violation of lockdown restrictions.
“If they came for me, be sure of it, they’re coming for you as well,” Pawlowski, who serves as pastor of Street Church and Cave of Adullam Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, told Fox News in an interview.
“What they’re doing today is identical to what I remember growing up,” added Pawlowski, comparing the measures taken by law enforcement officials to enforce COVID-19 restrictions to the actions taken by authorities in his native Poland when it was under communist rule.
“I was handcuffed like a common criminal, like a terrorist,” he said, talking about his previous arrest in May. “They wanted to break me. They wanted to show the whole world, ‘You see what we do to those who dare to speak against our tyranny? If you will follow … you’re next.’”
Pawlowski was born in Poland and lived under Soviet rule during part of his childhood.
A video posted on YouTube in May showed that Calgary Police Service sent at least five police vehicles to arrest him and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, from on the street. The brothers knelt on the road and refused to walk on their own during the arrest.
A voice can be heard telling the officers, “Shame on you guys, this is not communist China. Don’t you have family and kids? Whatever happened to ‘Canada, God keep our land glorious and free?’”
Artur Pawlowski previously shared a video documenting police visiting his church in April.
In that video, Pawlowski can be seen calmly greeting the officials at the front door. The public health officer presented Pawlowski with a warrant after previously interrupting worship services days earlier during the Holy Week.
As he videotaped the encounter, one of the police officers accompanying the public health officer told Pawlowski, “you don’t have to get into her personal space,” as he attempted to zoom his phone in on the paperwork.
“You’re in my personal space,” Pawlowski responded.
He referred to the officials as “brown shirts” and “Nazi Gestapo communist fascists.”
Pawlowski told The Christian Post in June that police frequently monitored his church services to make sure he was abiding by coronavirus restrictions and social distancing guidelines. He said the intrusions weren't necessary because he streamed the church services online. The livestreams illustrated that “I was not hiding the fact that we are not following those restrictions.”
As law enforcement repeatedly descended on his church services, “the mosques were fully operational.” He added that “no one harassed them, no one interfered with them.”
“Not one Imam was being harassed or intimidated. And to this day, there’s not one Imam or one Muslim that has a ticket, even though we have video evidence and pictures [of] them gathering ... through the whole Ramadan by the thousands,” he said.
Pawlowski’s YouTube channel includes a video of a gathering of thousands of Muslims that took place on the last day of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, which police allowed without interruption. He estimated that “about 2,000 people, maybe more, were there.”
In March of 2020, Pawlowski was informed that his church, which ministers to the homeless and less fortunate in Calgary, would have to “shut down and stop taking care of the poor.” He refused to obey that order, however, concluding that by issuing “orders to stop feeding them [and] giving them necessities of life, they were sentencing them to death. [And] some of them did die,” he said.
At the time, Pawlowski sent a plea to the ministers in Alberta asking them for an exemption from COVID-19 restrictions, but they refused to grant an exemption and ordered him to shut down.