The Polish-Canadian pastor who faces a potential four-year jail sentence for holding church services in Calgary, Alberta, is warning Americans that the tyranny he saw growing up in communist Poland has spread to Western countries.
Pastor Artur Pawlowski, 48, recently spoke to The Daily Wire as he lingered in the Portland, Oregon, area following an attack on a prayer rally he arranged on the banks of the Willamette River. The event, which he organized with local churches, made headlines when black-clad members of Antifa rushed in to deploy tear gas, destroy sound equipment, assault worshipers, and scoff that God had abandoned them.
Pawlowski, who was maced in the face, claimed that Portland police watched the incident from their cars and did nothing.
The clash with Antifa marked a poignant episode in Pawlowski’s speaking tour throughout the United States, during which he has been urging Americans to vigilantly guard the religious liberty he claims is quickly vanishing in Canada.
Earlier this year, when a public health inspector arrived at his church with armed police during Holy Week to inspect the sanctuary during a service, Pawlowski drew international attention when he forcefully ejected them.
Authorities returned weeks later with a court order and Pawlowski threw them out a second time, rebuking them for disrupting worship again and urging them to contact his lawyer. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice David Gates authorized police and health officials “to use such reasonable force as they deem appropriate to gain access” to Pawlowski’s church and “to do anything necessary” to arrest him if he fails to comply.
Within days, a motorcade of Calgary police pulled over Pawlowski and his brother on their way home from church. As they cuffed them in the middle of a busy highway and dragged them into police vans, Pawlowski called the officers “Gestapo psychopaths,” a reference to the Nazi secret police.
Pawlowski, whose grandmother once hid under a mattress while a Nazi soldier raped another girl above her, does not use the term lightly.