BY SARAH MAE SALIONG Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Following many run-ins with the police for defying unlawful coronavirus regulations, a well-known Canadian preacher was ordered to lie and go against his convictions to state that “vaccinations are saving lives, that masks work, that doctors and scientists are all for the restrictions.”
While Artur Pawlowski, the brave pastor of Calgary’s Street Church and The Cave of Adullam in Alberta, Canada, avoided jail time on Wednesday, the Christian Post reports that he was slapped with $23,000 in penalties and 18 months of probation for breaching court orders and coronavirus regulations that forbade him from conducting in-person church services.
Probation terms include doing 120 hours of community service, not being able to leave Alberta, and what his lawyer described as “suppression of freedom of expression.”
On Friday, Justice Adam Germain of the Court of Queen’s Bench ordered Pawlowski to publish an addendum anytime he talks publicly against Alberta Health Services health directives, including social media.
The required addendum reads as follows:
“I am aware that the views I am expressing to you on this occasion may not be views held by the majority of medical experts in Alberta. While I may disagree with them, I am obliged to inform you that the majority of medical experts favor social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding large crowds to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
“Most medical experts also support participation in a vaccination program unless for a valid religious or medical reason you cannot be vaccinated. Vaccinations have been shown statistically to save lives and to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.”
“Basically, what the judge is saying is that I cannot be a pastor anymore.” Pawlowski told Rebel News after his sentencing hearing outside the courtroom.
The news outlet was among the first to voice its support for pastor Pawlowski. As part of its “Save Artur” campaign, Rebel News covered the hearing on Wednesday.
Pawlowski described the task he is being ordered to do as lying.
“For 18 months, I have to give up my rights, I have to give up my convictions, I have to give up my faith and I cannot participate in anything that I believe in,” he said.
“I have to become a liar every time I open my mouth in order to appease the corrupted judges and the corrupted court systems and the corrupted politicians,” he said, justifying his categorization of judges, judiciary system, and government officials as corrupt. “They are breaking the same rules all the time and they’re caught breaking the same rules, but it’s one law for the peasants, for the slaves and another for the kings and the judges.”
Pastor Artur Pawlowski reacts to his sentencing live on air: “every time I open my mouth to the public, I have to lie.”
Help us fight for Artur’s freedom: https://t.co/5RfUUBxoVx. pic.twitter.com/qRVaYbmNMf
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) October 13, 2021
Attorney Sarah Miller for Pawlowski went into detail about the sentence in an interview with Rebel News. Pawlowski gained notoriety after two recorded confrontations with local law enforcement officials who accused him of violating coronavirus worship guidelines at his church. She believed that the verdict was motivated by political vengeance directed against Pawlowski.
“I think that Justice Germain … was trying to find a way … to suppress Artur Pawlowski as much as possible while trying to find a way to stay within the confines … of precedential law,” she said.
Miller ended the interview by saying she plans to appeal Germain’s decision and to “file an application to stay the order pending the appeal.”
Prior to the posting of the first viral video in March 2020, which marked the beginning of the pandemic, Pawlowski revealed in an earlier interview with The Christian Post that his legal fights over coronavirus limitations had been ongoing for over a year. Pawlowski was told that his Street Church ministry, which serves Calgary’s impoverished and disadvantaged, would be forced to close.