Remember Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski who made headlines in May for keeping his church open and held worship services during the pandemic? He was arrested again Monday on the Tarmac of the Calgary International Airport after returning from the U.S.
According to a published report by Global News, the Calgary Police Service said Pawlowski was charged in relation for failing to wear a face-covering (March 13, 2021) and disobeying a court order (June 5, 2021).
Related: Canadian Pastor Jailed for Holding Church Services During Pandemic Restrictions
Pawlowski’s lawyer, Sarah Miller, said it was “illogical” given the dates of the alleged breach. He was later released by police Monday night.
Pawlowski was arrested and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting, or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering, the Calgary police said in a statement for the May incident. He was fined in December 2020 for not wearing a mask and also for not having a permit for a anti-mask demonstration in November 2020.
Pawlowski is not alone. Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church (Grace Life), a church near Edmonton, Canada, was also arrested this year for leading his congregation in worship. The application named Coates, giving Alberta Health Services the authority to jail the pastor if he continued to hold worship services. According to the Justice Centre, Coates told police before he could not stop worship — it violated his conscience and prevented him from fulfilling his duty as a minister to lead his congregation in worship. The officers then left without arresting him on Feb. 7. On Feb. 16 Coates preached on Sunday and turned himself in.
A Melbourne Australian pastor was arrested in May for defying lockdown rules.
In a Facebook video, Revival Church leader Paul Furlong said he has chosen to “obey God over man” and called the virus “just a cold”.
“My church is open. I’ve said I would not shut the church again. This Sunday at 10am, my church the Revival Church in Narre Warren … we are open for worship. Many of you may have me declare that I have chosen to obey God over man. This comes down to a freedom of religion, movement, association.”
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—By CNJ Staff