The pastor of a church in Calgary posted a video of his interaction with police and other city officials to ensure that the church was meeting COVID-19 rules, and the interaction quickly went viral.
According to CTV News, Pastor Artur Pawlowski, the head of Calgary’s Street Church, was conducting a service at the Fortress (Cave) of Adullam on Saturday when these officials entered the building. Pawlowski addresses the officials in a stairwell outside the sanctuary, which he filmed.
“Get out of this property immediately,” he says. “I don’t want to hear anything…out immediately.”
The majority of the officials do not interact with Pawlowski, although an unnamed woman appears to attempt to justify their involvement. Pawlowski was having none of it.
This is how you handle police who enter a church without a warrant. 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). pic.twitter.com/0XhAuwv0yg
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) April 4, 2021
He shouted, “Out!” “Out of this property…immediately until you come back with a warrant.” the officials and officers said as they walked out the door. Pawlowski followed them outside.
“Nazis are not welcome here,” he said emphatically. “And don’t come out without a warrant.”
The pastor even referred to them as “Gestapo.”
Some social media users who have been critical of lockdowns and what they see as an affront to religious worship praised Pawlowski.
Rebel News founder Ezra Levant retweeted the video and said that Pawlowski’s answer is “how you handle police who enter a church without a warrant.”
“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),” he tweeted.
According to the Calgary Herald, Pawlowski has been disciplined several times for COVID-19 violations. According to the report, churches can hold services there, but they must keep attendance under 15% and meet rules such as wearing masks. According to the CTV News article, the officials in the video are from the police department, Alberta Health Services, and the City of Calgary Bylaw Services.
“Our inspectors have an important job to do and we ask that business owners and organizations treat them with respect,” said the health service. “We stand by all of our public health inspectors who are doing an incredible job in trying and challenging circumstances.”
According to police, there was fear that some attendees “were not adhering” to the government’s guidelines. According to CTV News, police are investigating whether any tickets will be released in the future.