A Canadian appeals court handed a victory to a pastor charged with contempt of court for holding church services in violation of COVID restrictions.
Artur Pawlowski, Pastor of Street Church and the Cave of Adullam in Calgary, received news of the court victory Friday, The Christian Post reports.
"It's a slam dunk win," tweeted Sarah Miller, Pawlowski's attorney. "The Court of Appeals made a unanimous, sound decision and overturned the finding of contempt made against my client."
A Canadian court initially found Artur and his brother Dawid in contempt when they held "an illegal public gathering" which violated "Alberta's COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The court ruled in favor of a request from restaurant owner Christopher Scott and dropped his fine from $20,000 to $10,000. They also ordered Alberta Health Services to pay the Pawlowskis $15,733.59.
"This is great news for Canadians because if I would fall, if my brother would fall, if Chris Scott would fall, then you're next," Pawlowski said in a radio interview. When asked by the hosts if he would do anything differently, he said he would not because, "Every single thing I did, I did from the heart."
He also explained that he hopes his case brings to light the overreach of the Canadian government during the pandemic. "Let us live our lives free," he said, adding, "respect our fundamental rights."
"Leave the pastors alone, leave the clergymen alone, leave the Christians alone. This country was built of Judeo-Christian values, the supremacy of God and the rule of law," he pleaded. "We're not criminals. Those that did that to us are criminals. And I hope one day, we will be able to go after the real villains and charge them for the crimes they have committed."
In their ruling, the judges were clear they believed in following the law and did not necessarily agree with Pawlowski's actions. However, they said the injunction which had been filed was "not sufficiently clear and unambiguous," so it could not apply to the brothers, and the contempt finding "must be set aside." In addition, the fines they paid had to be reimbursed, CBN News reports.
Pawlowski also served 51 days in custody after he was accused of inciting mischief during his speech to a crowd of participants in the Freedom Convoy.
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Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Alessandro Photo
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”