DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Americans around the country are holding prayer vigils to support a pastor imprisoned for fighting back against Canada's COVID tyranny.
Vigils are scheduled for Tuesday at Canadian consulates in New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas, in support of pastor Artur Pawlowski. Since the pandemic began, Pawlowski has been at loggerheads with the Canadian government over the country's draconian lockdown measures.
"People worldwide are disgusted with the way pastor Artur Pawlowski has been treated by Canadian authorities," asserted Firebrand Action and Media, the group sponsoring the vigils, noting, "harassed and repeatedly arrested on unjustified charges, pastor Artur has now become a political prisoner."
"His arrest is our arrest," the group declared.
Pawlowski's most recent arrest took place on Feb. 7 at his home in Calgary, just before his scheduled time to preach to a crowd of pro-freedom protestors in Coutts, at the Alberta–Montana border. This was his fifth arrest since the start of the pandemic.
Pawlowski's son Nathaniel told Church Militant last week the arrest was conducted by an undercover SWAT team that had staked out their home.
Pawlowski was arrested on charges of mischief over $5,000, aiding in blocking critical infrastructure and violating the terms of a peacekeeping bail.
The pastor remains in solitary confinement for 23 hours each day at the Calgary Remand Centre. Hundreds of people gather outside the prison each weekday at 7 p.m. to pray for the pastor and his family.
According to Dawid Pawlowski, Artur's brother, Artur is treated horribly in prison. He is put into a cage resembling a dog kennel and denied water and privacy. He has also had his Bible confiscated.
But Pawlowski remains "undeterred," according to his brother, and is fasting in the biblical tradition.
"He finished a three-day fast based on the story of Esther, where she fasted so that the enemy would be exposed," Nathaniel said, adding, "and now he's doing a 21-day 'Daniel fast,' which is basically light food, no meat. It's eating vegetables so that he would get an answer from God."
The crown prosecutor who denied the pastor bail last week claimed the pastor's speech to truckers in Coutts was an "open threat of violence." But his message has been undeniably peaceful and nonviolent.
"May God help us all, because we don't fight with guns and swords," Artur preached to the Freedom Convoy at Coutts, before he was arrested. "We don't fight with tasers and the police vehicles. We don't. We just want to go back and work hard and achieve something and provide for our families. We just want to be left alone."
"Again, I'm not talking about violence, swords and guns all that stuff," he emphasized. "You have the most powerful wings ever. Who can move 1,000 trucks? Who can move 10,000 truckers with 100,000 supporters?"
Firebrand Action and Media is also collecting signatures for a letter to be sent to Congress regarding Pawlowski's persecution. The letter argues:
His determination to stand for freedom has made him an enemy of those currently in power in Canada.
He also loves the United States of America, and to prove that love and dedication to our freedoms, Pastor Artur spent much of 2021 speaking in churches across our nation — alerting Americans to the very clear and present danger of tyrannical control coming our way if we do nothing to stop it now.
Your own refusal to be silent for Pastor Artur will be heard across the United States, Canada and across the world, now and in the future.
The persecution of Pawlowski has not escaped the attention of U.S. senators.
In June, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., urged the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to add Canada to its special watch list because of the country's crackdown on religious freedom. Hawley wrote:
Frankly, I would expect this sort of religious crackdown in communist China, not in a prominent Western nation like Canada. Canadian authorities' arrest of faith leaders and seizure of church property, among other enforcement actions, appears to constitute a systematic, ongoing and egregious violation of religious freedom.
Pawlowski was born in Poland and experienced firsthand the jackbooted regimes of Nazis and communists, whose ideologies are now encroaching on Canada and the United States. He is often seen wearing a shirt bearing the word "solidarity." The term symbolizes the movement of Polish shipbuilders and steelworkers that toppled the communists from power in the 1980s.
In a Sunday video, the pastor's brother Dawid and son Nathaniel confirm Pawlowski is refusing "to bow to the government's tyranny." They add that "he represents millions of people worldwide who simply want to live and worship peacefully as free people — his imprisonment is our imprisonment."