Dozens of black-clad Antifa militants carrying shields and melee weapons on Saturday assaulted Christians, including children, who were attending a prayer and worship event in downtown Portland, Oregon, featuring Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski.
Portland police looked on as Antifa bear-sprayed Christians and their children, lobbed “flash bombs” into the crowd, and reportedly threw the sound equipment being used for the prayer event into the Willamette River, PJ Media reported.
In black bloc and riot gear, armed Antifa could be seen in a video physically confronting the Christian attendees. One of the members sprayed a congregant with what appeared to be pepper spray. The attendees stepped back to evade the assault, The Post Millennial reported.
“Where is your God now?” one of the Antifa members can be heard shouting in the video.
A woman attending the prayer event described the group as “ruthless.”
“Antifa just rolled in like an angry mob, started throwing flash bombs at everybody, macing everybody ... rotten eggs,” CBN News quoted her as saying. “They threw a flash bomb into a group of kids that were out there from 4 months old to like 10.”
Pawlowski, who serves as pastor of Street Church and Cave of Adullam Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has been seen in viral videos documenting his encounters with law enforcement over COVID-19 restrictions, was also sprayed in the face with mace.
An attendee who helped the pastor was quoted as saying, “Walked up to ask them to stop throwing things at the children. There’s kids down there. I mean, they’re toddlers and they sprayed me too.”
“Welcome to Portland. You won’t like it here, pastor,” tweeted an Antifa member, who identifies herself as Melissa Lewis on Twitter.
In an earlier interview with The Christian Post, Pawlowski spoke about his interactions with authorities over the past year and doubled down on his characterization of local law enforcement as Nazis and communists.
Pawlowski has compared the measures taken by law enforcement officials to enforce novel coronavirus restrictions on churches to the actions taken by authorities in his native Poland when it was under communist rule.
In March 2020, he was informed that Street Church would have to “shut down and stop taking care of the poor.” Pawlowski refused to obey that order, concluding that by issuing “orders to stop feeding them [and] giving them necessities of life, they were sentencing them to death. [And] some of them did die.”
“All of those people wandering the streets, if I don’t feed them or someone like me does not feed them … they’re going to attack your house or break into your car,” he added. “You got to provide people with food if they cannot get it on their own for whatever reason. … Addictions or mental illness or whatever it is, those people will eat this way or that way. I prefer to feed them instead of letting them go and hurt other people to get what they need.”
The Saturday prayer and worship event in Portland was announced a month ago, which gave Antifa enough time to plan the attack.
Antifa has also attacked several churches in Portland.