A controversial Canadian pastor has filmed himself calling police “Nazis” during an Easter service, after they tried to enforce Covid-19 safety rules.
Artur Pawlowski, was holding a service at Calgary’s Street Church on Saturday when six officers from Calgary Police, Alberta Health Services and the city’s Bylaw Services stopped by to “observe” that pandemic protocols were being upheld.
In the video, posted onYouTube, Mr Pawlowski confronted the group and said: “Nazis are not welcome here”.
He refers to them as the “Gestapo...[there to] intimidate Christians during the holiest festival”.
The incident comes following the high-profile imprisonment of another Canadian pastor, James Coates, for a month for refusing to adhere to social-distancing rules for places of worship due to the deadly pandemic, for his GraceLife church in Edmonton.
During the incident with Pawlowski, an officer attempted to explain their presence but he can heard saying: “‘I don’t want to hear anything... out immediately. ‘I don’t care what you have to say, Out! Out of this property, you Nazis. Gestapo is not allowed here.”
“And don’t come out without a warrant”, he said, as reported by Daily Mail.
After the group leaves Pawlowski turns the camera on himself and calls the officials “sick psychopaths” and accused them of ‘coming to intimidate Christians during the holiest festival’.
He posted the video on Twitter, with the message: “Gestapo came again to intimidate the Church parishioners during the Passover Celebration!!! Unbelievable!”, and called for donations to the church.
Ezra Levant, the founder of right-wing commentary website Rebel News, said Pawlowski’s response was “how you handle police who enter a church without a warrant.”
He tweeted: “They’re lucky they only got a tongue-lashing: s. 176 of the Criminal Code makes it a crime to disturb a church service. Those @CalgaryPolice thugs were breaking the law (and knew it).”
In a press release Calgary Police called the pastor “unco-operative” and said: “The concern was that the people in attendance were not adhering to the government’s COVID-19 public health orders, which are in place to ensure everyone’s safety.”
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