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Canadian pastor says attacks on church services bring back memories of communism

A Canadian pastor who kicked police out of his church after they tried to shut down a worship service during Holy Week said the actions of law enforcement bring back memories of communism under the Soviet Union.

Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who was born in Poland and lived under Soviet rule during part of his childhood, received plaudits from people worldwide for his actions in forcefully ordering law enforcement officers — including a police officer and public health officer — off the church's property after they interrupted a Passover mass at Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A video documenting his encounter with the local law enforcement went viral, receiving more than 3 million views. 

Throughout the video, Pawlowski is seen telling law enforcement officials to “get out.” He also commanded that they “don’t come back without a warrant” and called them “Gestapo” and “Nazi psychopaths.” About a minute after the video started, they began to depart from the property.

Calgary Police Service released a statement suggesting that their presence at the church was justified because of a concern that “people in attendance were not adhering to the government’s COVID-19 public health orders, which are in place to ensure everyone’s safety.” 

Pawlowski, who grew up in Poland when the country was under a communist dictatorship, appeared on “Fox News Primetime” Tuesday night to discuss the exchange. Host Mark Steyn noted that Pawlowski “grew up behind the Iron Curtain,” adding, “What happened to you over Easter is exactly, I take it, why you didn’t want to stay behind the Iron Curtain.” 

“I grew up under communist dictatorship behind the Iron Curtain, under the brute of the Soviets, and I’m telling you that’s no fun at all. It was a disaster,” Pawlowski recalled. “Police officers could ..."