A Canadian pastor who was arrested earlier in May for allegedly violating public health orders restricting large gatherings says he was treated unfairly while he was in jail.
Pastor Artur Pawlowski was released on bail recently and told Rebel News that he believes "the whole system is corrupted," CBN News reports.
"If they can do this to me, they can do this to you, and anyone they wish," he said.
Pawlowski said when he was arrested, police "threw" him and forced him to lay on his back in handcuffs for an hour.
"You can imagine how painful that was. That was actual torture. I was being tortured by the way they did it. One hour with my whole body on the handcuffs. It was unbelievable," Pawlowski said.
He said initially he was not given a mattress, blanket or pillow in his cell. He said they also would not give him a Bible when he asked for one. He said later another guard provided a mattress and Bible.
But Pawlowski said the harsh treatment continued when he was transferred to another detention center. Pawlowski called it "hell" and said they were put into a "filthy cell" with about 30 other inmates and were not allowed to contact their attorneys.
Pawlowski was released on bail, but he says police followed him in a helicopter.
"It becomes personal, it becomes a personal vendetta and (Alberta Premier) Jason Kenney coming out and saying that 'I'm going to crush Pawlowski,' that really broke my heart because it shows the level of evil. Evil! They're evil people. The premier of Alberta is an evil man."
"I think we have fallen very, very low in our country," Pawlowski added.
Pawlowski, the pastor of Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, recorded his encounters with authorities who have tried to enforce health restrictions at his church.
In one video, he called officials "Nazis" and "communist fascists" and demanded that they leave the church property.
Earlier in May, the church congregation held a protest at the church that drew noise complaints from neighborhood residents. Pawlowski faces charges of organizing an illegal in-person gathering and promoting and attending the illegal gathering.
Photo courtesy: Ben White/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.