By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Calgary city-based Pastor Artur Pawlowski of Street Church Ministries, his brother Dawid Pawlowski, and Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott were fined, put on probation, and ordered to “preach science.”
“They are on the wrong side of science,” said Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adam Germain in published remarks. “They are also on the wrong side of common sense.”
Artur Pawlowski must pay a whopping 23,000 Canadian dollars ($18,600) fine and serve 18 months probation, the court ruled. Dawid Pawlowski was told to pay 10,000 Canadian dollars ($8,100) and do 12 months on condition.
Christopher Scott, who fundraised 120,000 Canadian dollars enabling him to purchase the Whistle Stop Cafe, was handed a 20,000 Canadian dollars ($16,200) fine and an 18-month probation period.
During those probationary periods, the men must obey all Alberta Health Service orders and provide 120 hours of community service work at a homeless shelter, food bank, or charity.
NOT ACCEPTABLE ORGANIZATION
The Pawlowskis’ street church ministries are not included as an acceptable organization, Canadian media reported.
If the three men continue to preach to their followers, they must also place the other side of the argument on the record, the judge warned.
The case has underscored concerns among critical Christians about what they view as growing government influence over faith groups and critical thinkers.
However, Justice Germain noted the sentences come as the threat of COVID-19 has “never been greater” in Alberta.
Scott and the Pawlowski’s “have contributed to this ominous health situation,” said Germain, and “encouraged others to doubt the legitimacy of the pandemic.”
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Pawlowski’s repeatedly hosted and promoted large, maskless gatherings for church services in Calgary. They also denied health and police officials entry to their church in Dover, a neighborhood in southeast Calgary
Artur Pawlowski, head of Calgary’s Street Church, gained international attention when he confronted local police inspectors on Easter after entering his church without a warrant.
The inspectors said they were to ensure the church abided by COVID-19 guidelines for a maximum indoor capacity of 15 percent, social distancing, and mask-wearing.
“Get out of this property,” he shouted to the police during the confrontation. The pastor proceeded to call them “Nazis” and “Gestapo,” referring to Nazi Germany’s secret state police. “Nazis are not welcome here,” he shouted again.
Pawlowski, 48, told reporters the police visit reminded him of his childhood in Poland, where he was raised under Soviet communism. “It was a disaster,” he added about his younger years. “Police officers could break into your house five in the morning. They could beat you up, torture you, they could arrest you for no matter what reason they would come up with. So, it was like a flashback when those police officers showed up at my church.”
He stressed that “Everything kind of came back to life from my childhood. The only thing I could do is to fend off the wolves as a shepherd.” The pastor warned: “We as lions should never bow before the hyenas, and that’s what they’re right now.”
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