Imprisoned Pastor Turned Down Offer to Remain in US, Still Fighting the Good Fight in Canada

Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski is arrested along the highway in Canada in 2021 for violating ordinances for holding church services in Canada. (Charisma News archives)
Artur Pawlowski, who has been jailed in Alberta, Canada since his return to that country in early February, refused an opportunity to stay free in the United States about six weeks ago, his son, Nathaniel, told Flashpoint recently.

Nathaniel Pawlowski says when Artur Pawlowski visited the U.S. in late January and early February, he was offered not only a church in which to preach but also for his family to move to America and for individuals to pay for their housing. His father turned down the offer and chose instead to return to Canada, where he was immediately arrested on three charges, including a violation from a previous arrest. He has been languishing in an Alberta prison in solitary confinement since Feb. 8.

Pawlowski's son says his father is courageous and not one to run from a fight, much like the apostle Paul, who—as the Bible chronicles—was frequently imprisoned after surrendering his life to Christ.

"He said if he took them up on that offer that he would be a hypocrite, and he wouldn't be able to live with himself," Nathaniel says. "His whole message is to stand up, fight, resist and have faith. He says if he ran away, it would be very hypocritical of him, and his whole life would be meaningless. He would never do something like that. It's not in his character. He's a fighter, not a coward, and he would not run away."

Political commentator Lance Wallnau says Artur Pawlowski's situation is similar to that of California Pastor Ché Ahn's during the height of the pandemic when they tried to shut down his church and levy heavy fines against him and his congregation. Ahn, the lead pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, fought against Gov. Gavin Newsom's oppressive lockdowns all the way to the Supreme Court and won the case.

"What is happening to Pastor Art would be happening in the United States right now if we didn't have Christians in the legal system," Wallnau says. "We have just enough vitality. They were trying to do that to Pastor Ché Ahn and charge him $1,000 a day for every parishioner that attends the church.

"This ought to wake up the church," Wallnau adds. "I was with Nathaniel's father on his last trip to the United States. He was encouraging me about prison ministry. I told him it looks like you are on a collision course with a totalitarian spirit. He said, 'Hey, with my background, I'm a fighter. I'm not intimidated by conflict. If God wants me to do prison ministry, then I'm going to do prison ministry.' I was so inspired by his courage. This is the kind of guy that I'd be willing to be in a battle with. He's willing to take a stand.

"I think we need to get behind this story and start to create a very loud noise that produces pressure and embarrassment on Canada," Wallnau says. "The only thing they will respond to is negative press."

While Artur has been in solitary confinement, he has been allowed out for one hour a day to "shower and make phone calls." Nathaniel says his father makes the most of it by talking to other inmates about Christ, and prisoners are "getting saved."

Those interested in supporting Artur are encouraged to visit freepastorart.com. While there, Nathaniel says you can mobilize people to put pressure on the Canadian government to release his father. Nathaniel says several peaceful protests have taken place outside Canadian embassies and consulates on behalf of his father.

"We need to put pressure on the Canadian government and shame them for how they are treating Christians and persecuting pastors," he says. "People in the state of Ohio have a very large petition to put Canada on a religious watch list for persecuting Christians."

Nathaniel says people who want to help the Pawlowski family directly may visit streetchurch.ca. In his father's absence, Nathaniel says his family continues to hit the streets three times a week, feeding the poor and preaching the gospel.

Tony Suarez, the founder of Revivalmakers and the chief operating officer of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the largest Hispanic Christian organization in the U.S., serving more than 40,000 congregations as well as thousands of churches abroad, offered this prayer for Pawlowski and his family:

Father, I thank You for this wonderful family and this hero of the faith. I pray for a book of Acts Chapter 16 miracle for our brother. Father, I ask that You would visit that jail cell, that You would send the angels, that there would be a shaking not only in that jail cell but also in all of Canada. [I pray] that there would be visible miracles and wonders that would awaken the prime minister and the members of Parliament of the government of Canada, that they would have such a real encounter with Jesus Christ that they would have the fear of God placed in them and that we would see even a miracle this week and this month.

Canada belongs to Jesus. We decree revival over the nation, and we decree that it's done in Jesus' mighty name."

Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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