This is the astonishing moment a furious pastor shouted at police who barged into a church service – before forcing them to leave the building.
Artur Pawlowski was shocked when officers entered his church to check Covid-19 rules were being followed during a Passover service on Easter Sunday (April 4) in Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
The Christian leader was outraged that officers ‘intimidated and harassed’ him and the followers midway through the special service on the Holy Day.
Footage shows how he angrily branded them ‘Gestapo’ and ‘Nazis’ – a reference to the extremist policies of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party between 1920 and 1945.
The police, who were accompanied by state health workers, were forced to turn around and leave the building.
Artur said he was ‘shaking with rage’ as it was the first time that police had ‘dared to enter a church building’.
He said police officers began standing outside his building several months ago, which he claimed has been a form of ‘harassment and intimidation’.
Artur said: ‘I grew up under a Communist dictatorship behind the Iron Curtain, under the boot of the Soviets, and I’m tell you that’s no fun at all. It was a disaster.
‘Police officers could break into your house five in the morning, they could beat you up, torture, they could arrest you for no matter what reason they would come up with.
‘There was a famous saying in Poland – when I was growing up – by the police ‘give me a man and we will find something on that man’. So, it was like a flashback when those police officers showed up at my church.
‘Everything kind of came back to life from my childhood, and the only thing I could do is to fend off the wolves as a shepherd, and I use my voice to get rid of them.
‘They were illegally encroaching on our rights during the most holy days during the Passover celebration. How dare they? The audacity of those people coming. It was a shocking thing. I was a little bit shaken, but I did what every shepherd right now on the planet Earth should be doing–fend off the wolves. We as lions should never bow before the hyenas, and that’s what they’re right now.’
Canada has recorded 1.05 million Covid-19 cases and 23,251 deaths as of April 9. The country is currently battling a second wave of the virus and has imposed restrictions on travel and groups of people congregrating.