You can’t arrest an idea — worship services continue without Pastor Artur

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The story of Pastor Artur Pawlowski was never really about Artur. No one can deny that Pastor Artur became a symbol of religious freedom, fundamental Charter rights, and resistance to unjust authority through his outspoken opposition to the increasingly authoritarian measures being implemented under the direction of Alberta Health Services. But for Artur, his resistance was never about him as an individual – it was about worship, it was about feeding the hungry, and it was about defending everyone’s rights and freedoms, no matter the cost.

This was made abundantly clear when I interviewed Dave Hughes following Artur Pawlowski’s arrest. Despite being one of Artur’s best friends, Dave's immediate concern was planning continued worship services and ensuring that people on the streets of Calgary would still be fed that week, whether or not Artur was in jail.

When Pastor Artur’s strict bail conditions forbade him from gathering for worship, his legal team advised that he not give the government further ammunition in their prosecution of his cause, so Artur decided that someone else would lead worship on Saturday. Pastor Peter stepped up to lead, unwavering in the face of potential arrest. It seems apparent that if he is arrested, someone will inevitably step up to fill in, in turn. Every indication is that worship will proceed, outside and socially distanced, regardless of how many arrests take place.

This has never been about an individual, this has been about an idea. And the thing about ideas is, you can’t lock them up.

To contribute to Pastor Artur’s legal fees, please visit Your donations are now eligible for a charitable tax receipt through the Canadian foundation, The Democracy Fund.

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