Artur Pawlowski, the Polish pastor in Canada who recently went viral for clashing with law enforcement over worship restrictions, alleges that arsonists set his garage on fire.
On Sunday, Pawlowski, who leads Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, told Rebel News that the garage at his home was set on fire late Saturday night.
"About 11:30 p.m., my wife, she hears some commotions and firefighters, I mean, so many cars and police," he recalled. "And first, we thought … maybe they're coming for me in the middle of the night. But no, they came to put the fire down."
Pawlowski added that he went outside thinking his neighbor's house was on fire but immediately realized it was his garage that was set ablaze, The Christian Post reports.
"Someone set our property on fire. Someone wants us dead," he said. "And I'm thinking, 'Why? I'm feeding the poor. I'm feeding Muslims. I'm feeding homosexuals. I'm feeding whites and Asians and blacks. I'm feeding people and I'm not hurting anyone, and they want me dead, and they want my children dead?'"
On Pawlowski's YouTube channel, he posted video footage of firefighters working to extinguish the flames.
The pastor described the fire as "shocking", adding that he "would never imagine that we would be living in a country that … our right to be different, our rights … to be able to express ourselves in a different way than others would be punishable by death."
While the exact origin of the fire remains a mystery, Pawlowski concluded that "someone put fire into a blue bin that was with cupboards and that's how the fire started."
"They pushed the bin to the door — the wooden door of the garage — and the whole garage started to … burn," he continued.
He also suggested the fire could have been from a lighter or "someone holding the lighter and putting the bin on fire."
"Only God knows at this moment" how the fire started, Pawlowski said.
Earlier this month, Pawlowski and his brother, David, were taken into custody by Calgary police for holding indoor worship services in violation of the county's COVID restrictions. He first went viral in April after he recorded his confrontation with police officers and a government health official who tried to impose a mask mandate on the church during a Passover service.
In response, Pawlowski yelled at the officials and demanded them to leave, calling them "Nazis" for intimidating the congregation.
According to Rebel News' Adam Soos, Pawlowski's confrontation with police has led to additional harassment, including "graffiti and dog feces and nails in the parking lot."
Despite tensions with police, Pawlowski thanked them for acting "very professionally" following Saturday's incident.
"They helped as much as they could," he noted. "They even came with their trucks to bring the light so we could secure the place."
Pawlowski also praised the firefighters for "doing an amazing job", asserting that "if not for those men that fought the fire, my house would go down in flames."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kesu01
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.