If there is one thing that can be said about Pastor Artur Pawlowski, it’s that he’s steadfast in standing up for liberty in the face of tyranny.
And he’s clearly got a set of cajones.
The 48-year old Pastor in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has been sounding the alarm for some time that liberty is under attack.
Pawlowski grew up under communist rule in Poland and has recently gone on a speaking tour in the United States to warn that the tyranny that he saw in Poland is happening in Western countries right now.
He said the purpose is “to let Americans know that what’s happening in Canada has already started to happen here, and is going to happen in the United States if Americans will not rise up.”
Pawlowski said that America, whose foundation is liberty, needs to lead the rest of the free world. “We need your help,” he said. “The free world is looking at this great American eagle, is waiting for that eagle to start flapping its wings. We need your help. And you have rescued us before. You came to the rescue during the Second World War, and I believe it’s time for America to come to our rescue once more.”
In an interview with the Daily Wire, Pawlowski explains how Western countries are reminding him of what Poland looked like before the fall of the Iron Curtain.
“I grew up in Poland behind the Iron Curtain,” Pawlowski said. “I grew up under communism, socialism, under the boots of the Soviets in a country where you had absolutely no freedoms. No freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, no freedom of association, no freedom of the press.”
“For disagreeing with government, for just simply sharing your heart about something that you have seen or heard, you could be tortured, arrested, beaten, sentenced to years in jail time — just because you had a different opinion than the State government.”
“In Poland, if you listened to another source of information that was coming outside of the communist-approved mainstream media, you could go to prison for five years. If you were caught possessing a pamphlet that was not approved by the government, you could go to jail for a year or two,” Pawlowski continued.
He remembered that “before they would sentence you, you would be tortured, beaten by the police.” Lawlessness reigned and the Constitution of the Polish People’s Republic became a mere piece of paper. “There was nothing that resembled justice and rule of law at all. It was 50,000 communists ruling, enslaving 36 million Polish people at that time. So what I see right now is a similar approach. One law at a time, one infringement on our rights at a time.”
In April, a video of Pawlowski went viral when he chased out a Public Health official accompanied by several armed Calgary Police who wanted to “inspect” the sanctuary during Holy Week church services. He shouted at them and called them “Gestapo.”
A few weeks later, they came back with a Queen’s Bench Order from Justice David Gates authorizing police “to use such reasonable force as they deem appropriate to gain access” to Street Church and “to do anything necessary” to arrest Pawlowski if he fails to comply. That time he called them “Gestapo Nazi Communists.”
Here was the arrest of Pastor Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid on a Canadian highway. During his arrest, Pastor Pawlowski called the multiple officers arresting him “Gestapo Psychopaths.”
Both Pawlowski brothers were released on bail after three days spent in jail. Pawlowski claims that their time in detention was prolonged unnecessarily and that some of the prison authorities mistreated them and mocked their faith.
The public health orders under which Pawlowski was charged have been rescinded in the province of Alberta, but the judge found the pastor guilty of contempt in June and he is still facing a potential 4-year sentence for allegedly “organizing an illegal in-person gathering, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal gathering, as well as promoting and attending the gathering.”
This is nothing new. Even before the pandemic, the Calgary authorities have been harassing Pawlowski.
In 2005, Pawlowski was receiving fines for preaching outside of Calgary City Hall and feeding the homeless through the charity he founded. His alleged offenses included reading the Bible aloud, using a megaphone, and stretching an extension cord across a city sidewalk.
Pawlowski fought them, and in 2009, he was vindicated as a provincial court struck down several of the alleged infractions stating “the City’s attempts… to limit the scope of the efforts by the accused to minister to his congregants, fall precariously close to being excessive and, to any reasonable observer, an abuse of power.”
But it wasn’t just limited to the city of Calgary. In 2010, Pawlowski’s church was stripped of its charitable status because, according to the National Post, Pawlowski spent more than 10% of time preaching vocal opposition to divorce, homosexuality, and abortion. This was deemed “excessively political” by an agent of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
After 10 years of fighting, Pawlowski’s church received all of its permits back in 2015.
And then the pandemic hit in 2019.
Within months, Pawlowski was hit with a fine for holding an outdoor gathering with more than 15 people where he was preaching the Gospel and feeding the homeless.
He is clearly no stranger to governmental harassment and it makes his reaction to public health officials and Calgary Police understandable. They’ve been harassing him for preaching the Gospel and feeding the hungry for more than 10 years.
Pawlowski is unequivocal in his warnings. He said, “you are losing your liberties left and right. Canada used to be a free nation. It is no longer a free nation. It is under a totalitarian medical regime. And we need to rise up, stand up, and push this great evil away or else.” The United States is on the same path if they don’t stand up.
During his stops in the United States, Pawlowski has been confronted by leftwing protesters. At an outdoor prayer rally in Portland, black bloc threw flashbombs at children.
A few days later, outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in nearby Salem, Pawlowski joined a group of Christians that gather weekly to sing worship songs and pray to end the barbaric practice of abortion. Antifa wearing their signature black bloc and masks showed up across the street and shouted obscenities at the group through megaphones.
Pastor Pawlowski said during a Facebook livestream, “The enemy is in your face. The enemy is challenging you, just like the Philistines challenged the army of God. And, at that time, what they needed was David to come to understand that their God is bigger than the enemy’s god. His God was a lot bigger. And if God is for us, who can be against us?”
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Pawlowski and his church have been harassed by the public as well as authorities. He has reported finding nails thrown on the ground in the parking lot of his church, and he says that someone even tried to burn down his home.
Pawlowski has stood firm and will not waver even in the face of prison. “Historically speaking, everyone that wanted to change something from tyranny to something that is free and beautiful had to face difficulties…And I decided that if no one else wants to pay the price, I’m willing to pay that price. I’m willing to be the voice for the voiceless, for the millions of people that are terrified, afraid of the tyranny. They’re afraid to lose their jobs. They’re afraid to lose their lives.”
“So if I am to be the one that will become that voice for those millions of people, so be it, and I’m willing to pay the price for it,” he said.
Here is Pastor Pawlowski preaching a message at Rodney Howard-Browne’s River Church in Tampa Bay.