Canadian Pastor Arrested for Holding 'Illegal In-Person Gathering'

(Facebook/Artur Pawlowski)

Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who stood up to Canadian police and health officials in a video that went viral last month, was arrested by Calgary police during a Saturday church service for violations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple outlets report. Police also arrested his brother, Dawid Pawlowski.

"Artur Pawlowski and Dawid Pawlowski have both been arrested and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering," Calgary Police said in a statement, per Newsweek.

Prior to the arrest, Alberta Health Services received a "Court of Queen's Bench Order that applies to gatherings including protests, demonstrations and rallies," the police said. "This order imposes new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits."

"It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people's desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest," the police also said, per the Calgary Herald. "However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone's safety and wellbeing," the police service said.

A video of the arrest was shared from Artur Pawlowski's Facebook page, along with a request for donations via streetchurch.ca.

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