Prayer Vigils Planned at Canadian Consulates Today in Support of Freedom-Fighting Pastor Artur Pawlowski
While Pastor Artur Pawlowski remains in solitary confinement in a Canadian maximum-security prison, supporters are gathering for prayer vigils at several Canadian consulates in the U.S. to protest his treatment, Fox News reports. The firebrand pastor, who rose to international prominence after Calgary, Alberta, police arrested him for holding church services despite the province's COVID restrictions, was arrested again Feb. 7 on a return trip to the U.S.-Canada border in Coutts, Alberta, after he spoke to members of the Freedom Convoy on Feb. 3. Peaceful prayer protests are planned for today at the Canadian consulates in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago.
The pastor's son Nathaniel and brother Dawid released a joint video Sunday calling for support in Artur's time of trial. "He went there to deliver a sermon, Lord's Supper and to pray with them," Nathaniel says. "He simply wanted to do his job as a pastor and give them hope. ... This is his 15th arrest and his fifth since the start of the pandemic, all for doing his job as a pastor, not for committing actual crimes."
"Artur just finished three days of Esther's Fast and has begun 21 days of Daniel's Fast," Dawid says. "The first one is to expose the enemy's corruption, and the second is to get an answer from God. We all need for God to intervene more than ever," he says, inviting others to join the fast and cry out to God with them.
Dawid released a video last Thursday detailing some of the horrific conditions Artur has endured, noting that he is fasting while in prison but "standing strong." He repeated some of those conditions in this newer video, noting that "He is treated horribly," David continues. "It has nothing to do with justice or law. He was strip-searched twice and checked for contraband. ... They locked him twice in a small cage resembling a dog kennel with no air circulation, suffocating him for many hours, all without water to drink. After that, he was subjugated to a hard bench three times for hours on end, all without any water to drink. ... His Bible was confiscated, and a letter that was written to his lawyer was also confiscated."
Dawid also says his brother, whom he calls "a political prisoner," has been moved to the back of the prison "so he cannot see or hear his supporters outside. .... Artur needs your help. He's asking all of you for your help." Noting that Artur receives only one hour a day to speak with lawyers, he adds that his brother has been convicted and sentenced without ever facing trial.
In Artur's speech to the truckers that prompted his arrest, he urged them to "hold the line" in their protest against COVID restrictions without resorting to violence. A native of Poland, he drew parallels between the Freedom Convoy and Poland's Solidarity movement of the 1980s against an oppressive Soviet regime.
"I decided to come here because I believe the eyes of the world are fixed on this place," he said, telling the truckers, "You are heroes in this solidarity movement."
Artur remains imprisoned without bail after Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston called the speech "an overt threat to violence" in a hearing last week, per the CBC.
"At no time did [Pawlowski] tell them to block the roads; he told them to remain and protest," Artur's lawyer Chad Haggerty said at the same hearing. His client faces a potential fine of up to $10,000 plus six months in jail.
Is Artur Pawlowski a champion of freedom or a publicity-seeking scofflaw? Watch the video with Nathaniel and Dawid Pawlowski above or at this link, and join the conversation!
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