The March for Jesus is a gathering of faith-filled followers of Jesus Christ that takes place in different cities across the world. The March started in the United Kingdom in 1987 and has been happening in Calgary for over a decade.
In previous years the gathering has drawn crowds ranging from 200 to 2,000 people. Aside from the occasional run-in with counter-protesters, the Calgary march has generally carried on without incident, but this year questions arose early as to whether overreaching COVID restrictions would hinder the event.
This concern was magnified by several high-profile attendees, namely the Pawlowski family, minus Pastor Artur, who is presently touring in the United States.
They were joined by Pastor Peter Reicher, who was also briefly arrested and subsequently released after he took over leadership of Artur’s church while he awaited his court date. Interestingly, Pastor Peter shared that he originally met the Pawlowski family at March for Jesus many years ago.
Roughly 150 gathered for the March, among them many pastors from various Calgary area churches. The march proceeded from Millennium Park to Olympic Plaza with frequent stops for songs, worship, and even dance. Business patrons in crowded Stephen Avenue patios looked upon the processing group with a mix of supportive cheers, bewilderment, and occasionally evident opposition. The mood was joyous and festive throughout the entire event. Pastor Peter even remarked that this was the first March for Jesus that he can recall which faced no opposition from protesters.
Police were on hand in large numbers, which set many on edge, given the ongoing persecution of Christians in Calgary at their hands. However, the officers seemed, at least for the day, to simply be facilitating the peaceful gathering. We will closely monitor police activity in the coming days if any arrests occur as a result of the march.
Just prior to the March for Jesus, we were on site as the imprisoned Pastor Tim Stephens’ Fairview Baptist congregation once again gathered for worship at an undisclosed location. Despite a police helicopter flyover, their worship also carried on without interference.
As mentioned, Pastor Artur Pawlowski is presently touring the United States sharing his story, but his legal battles are far from behind him. If you want to help his fight for freedom, please go to SaveArtur.com.