The pastor of a Calgary church uploaded a video of his meeting with police and other city officials to ensure the church was following COVID-19 guidelines, and the interaction became viral.
CTV News reported that Pastor Artur Pawlowski – the head of the Calgary Street Church – was holding a service at the Adullam Fortress (Cave) on Saturday until these officials entered the building.
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Pawlowski – who filmed the encounter – addresses officials in a stairwell outside the shrine.
“Get out of this property immediately,” he said. “I don’t want to hear anything … immediately.”
Most officials don’t hire Pawlowski, but an unidentified woman appears to be trying to explain their presence. Pawlowski didn’t have it.
“Outside!” He shouted. “Out of this property … immediately until you come back with a warrant.” The officials and officers slowly exit the building and Pawlowski has followed them outside.
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“The Nazis are not welcome here,” he said. “And don’t go out without a warrant.”
The pastor also called them “Gestapo”.
Pawlowski has been praised by some social media users who have criticized the lockdowns and what they see as an affront to religious worship.
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Ezra Levant, the founder of Rebel News, retweeted the footage and said Pawlowski’s response was “how you deal with cops who walk into a church without a warrant.”
“They are lucky they only had licks: Section 176 of the Criminal Code makes it a crime to disturb a religious service. These thugs at @CalgaryPolice were breaking the law (and knew it)”, a- he tweeted.
The Calgary Herald reported that Pawlowski had been fined several times for COVID-19 offenses. The newspaper pointed out that churches there can organize services, but must keep attendance below 15% and follow guidelines such as wearing masks.
The CTV News report identified the officials in the video as members of the Police Department, Alberta Health Services and Calgary City Regulatory Services.
“Our inspectors have an important job to do and we ask business owners and organizations to treat them with respect,” the health department said. “We support all of our public health inspectors who are doing an incredible job under difficult and difficult circumstances.”
Police said there were concerns that some in attendance “did not adhere” to government guidelines.
The CTV News report says police are working to determine if tickets can be issued at a later date.
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