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Easter Celebrations Marked by ‘Nazi’ Police Confronting Churches Over COVID Violations

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An infuriated Alberta, Canada, church pastor said “gestapo” local police officers showed up Saturday night and began demanding parishioners leave Passover celebrations over COVID-19 regulations.

Pastor Artur Pawlowski of Street Church in Canada’s Alberta province posted a video to Facebook on Easter Sunday, which has since gone viral across social media. In the video, six local police officers can be seen demanding that church attendees “please get out, get out of this property, immediately get out!” Responding the officers’ yells that the church was breaking pandemic rules, Pawlowski can be heard responding by calling the officers “Nazis” and names of other paramilitary forces used in Nazi-era Germany.

“I don’t care what you have to say, out!” the pastor can be heard yelling back at the officers who were attempting to disperse members inside the Alberta church Saturday evening. “Out of this property, you Nazis. Out! Gestapo is not allowed here. Do not come back, you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in the church during the Passover. You gestapo Nazi communist fascists!”

In his Facebook post, Pawlowski claimed the officers were not there to uphold social distancing guidelines, but instead only sought to intimidate Christian worshipers during one of their most holy celebrations of the year.

“I don’t want to hear a word,” he told the officers. “Out! Out! Out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant, out.”

This was not the only religious ceremony that was disrupted during the Easter weekend. London’s Metropolitan Police showed up at Christ the King Polish church in Balham, south London, around 6 p.m. Friday. In both cases, church leadership accused local officers of government overreach in their attempts to enforce COVID-19 rules.

Law enforcement officers could be seen interrupting the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at Christ the King, as they also demanded the congregation disperse over pandemic guidelines.

“You are not allowed to meet inside with this many people under law. At this moment in time you need to go home. Failure to comply with this direction to leave and go to your home address, ultimately could lead you to be fined £200 or, if you fail to give your details, to you being arrested.”

“It’s Good Friday and I appreciate you would like to worship, but this gathering is unlawful,” the officer continued in video, which emerged Saturday of the incident in London.

Christ the King church leadership issued a statement Saturday that condemned the Metropolitan Police operation and accused authorities of having, “brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason…all government requirements were met.”

The Liberty Buzz reached out to both houses of worship Sunday afternoon for additional remarks.

Members of the clergy arrive to celebrate an Easter Sunday mass in front of empty pews at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on April 12, 2020. A churchgoer was attacked during Sunday morning’s Mass in Philidelphia.
Eva HAMBACH/Getty

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