Not so many years ago, it would have been unthinkable that pastors in North America could be singled out for no other crime than preaching the gospel when the government said ‘stop’.
But a lot has changed in a very short time. And pandemic protocols gave some Anti-Christain authoritarians precisely the excuse they had been looking for.
While there have been a couple of examples in the US, our neighbors to the north, under the tyranny of Blackface Hitler, have been running roughshod over a whole list of supposedly enshrined rights and freedoms. In the name of ‘peace, order, and good government’ of course. (That’s Canada’s answer to America’s ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’… which should tell you a lot.)
Pastor Pawlowski has been a thorn in the government’s side for quite some time now, as he has openly defied the government’s edicts to shut down public worship. He has been arrested a number of times, most recently in connection with the Freedom protests in January and February. While he was not connected to the Truckers’ Convoy that came to Ottawa, he did take the short drive from his home city in Calgary to visit the Montana/Alberta border crossing blockade and give words of encouragement to the protesters there.
For that, he was arrested and jailed for 51 days. His experiences were pretty severe, and reportedly included:
-being deprived of his Bible and his glasses for several days
-having written communication with his legal council was confiscated
-enduring many hours in solitary confinement
-water was withheld for a day
-being placed in a small metal cage, like a dog kennel for hours at a time
-being made to sit on a hard wooden bench for hours at a time
-being made to sleep on cold concrete
-in response to protesters outside, the prison was put on lockdown, while prisoners were explicitly told it was the pastor’s fault.
And yet, the gospel has a long history of thriving under persecution. This case was no exception.
“They were punishing the entire prison because of me,” he said. “And then they paraded me in front of the inmates, saying, ‘That’s the guy. You’re being punished because of him. So if you have a chance to do something, that’s the villain, that’s the guy.'”
“And I think that was the scariest time,” he added.
“I was told by inmates, and they’re willing to testify, that they were approached by different people from within the administration — and the guards bribing them with different incentives to beat me up,” he said, recounting how his cell door would sometimes be left open, which terrified him.
Pawlowski said he found favor with his fellow inmates, though, many of whom sought him out for spiritual support after recognizing him as the pastor who keeps getting arrested. His unit, which consisted of approximately 20 other men, began to assemble for Bible study with him. Several, he says, converted to Christianity. —FoxNews
Not long before his release, he was transferred to another prison in Edmonton (about 3 hours North), where he was made to share a cell with a paranoid schizophrenic who claimed to have killed his own brother with a machete.
Pastor Artur describes that incident:
“I said, ‘Oh my God, please. While I’m sleeping, please protect me,'” Pawlowski said.
“But you know, I was able to minister to him and pray for him,” he recounted about his cellmate.
When a worker from Alberta Health Services (AHS) checked on him and asked why he had been placed in the mental ward despite not having been diagnosed with a mental illness, Pawlowski said he had no answer. —FoxNews
If you think about it, between this example and previous examples of Canadian pastors going to jail – some of these play-it-safe pastors should look at the record of the past 2 years to slow the spread.
It’s worth asking the hard question: which has been a more successful method of bringing the gospel to a lost and dying world… the meet-by-zoom, head-in-the-sand model, or the arrest-us-if-you-must-but-we’re-going-to-obey-God-rather-than-man model?
To invoke an old slogan from yesteryear: ‘What Would Jesus Do’? Then again, we already know the answer to that question now, don’t we?
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