Tone towards Christianity is harsh, intolerant, Bending over backwards to accommodate Islam and its militant tendencies
UK Street Preachers face increasing complaints and arrests
Comments | Print friendly | Subscribe | Email Us
Oppression of Christian’s by police is on the rise in the UK as illustrated by the arrest of three different Christian street preachers in the past three months. While Islam is afforded increasing protections in the UK – despite its displayed murderous hostilities in Kenya this weekend, Christian activity is being actively opposed by members of the force.
American preacher Tony Miano, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff, was arrested outside the Wimbledon tennis courts in July after a passer-by told the police he had made homophobic remarks when in fact he was reading from the books of Thessalonians.
On September 4th, Rob Hughes was held for seven and a half hours at Basildon police station in Essex before being released without charge at around 11:30pm. According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), he was detained under Section 5 of the Public Order Act on the grounds that he “caused harassment, alarm or distress”, an accusation he denied. CLC reports assisting Hughes by providing a solicitor to help him during the police interview!
Hughes responded “I am so grateful that the Christian Legal Centre was able to react quickly and effectively in my situation”, adding that he felt Christian street preachers were being “presumed guilty until found to be innocent”. CLC added that “This is happening alarmingly often now.”
Then just two weeks later; according to Christian Concern, Rev Josh Williamson, the pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth - Scotland, was arrested for “breach of the peace” after the Officer pointed to Williamson’s MP3 recorder and said that he was too loud. (The MP3 is a recorder only)
Williamson regularly takes to the streets to hand out leaflets, talk to passers-by and do open-air preaching. But on this occasion a police officer told him to stop preaching because he was breaking the law. When Rev. Williamson asked the officer what law he was breaking, he replied that Williamson was in “breach of the peace.”
Rev. Williamson was taken to Perth police station, interviewed and released with a caution. A second man, who spoke up in defence of Rev. Williamson’s right to preach, was also arrested at the scene.
Williamson said afterwards “One policeman told me that the content of what I was saying was the issue. I asked them to clarify, but they wouldn’t. People were making abusive comments to me and swearing in public, that is breaking the law, but instead they went straight to the street preacher. I think it is a form of discrimination and I think that comes back to the content. It become dangerous when police say it’s due to the content, you get into a position where you wonder what part of speaking from the Gospel is illegal.”
A police spokesman tried to downplay the incident saying “Due to a high number of complaints from members of the public about the noise being made by an individual in Perth’s High Street, a man was asked to attend at Perth Police Station where he was spoken to. He was issued with a warning.”
However, Andrea Minichiello Williams, the head of CLC said: “Mr. Williamson clearly thought he was under arrest and it’s not right for the police to say he wasn’t. We now want something done. We are getting into a position where people think that speaking of scripture is offensive or illegal. This has to be nipped in the bud we are looking at peoples’ fundamental freedoms.”
Williams, who is considering legal action against the local Perth authorities, continued:
“This is the third arrest in as many months. These street preachers are not breaking any laws and are perfectly within their rights. The police are overreaching their authority and misapplying the law. Their actions show an increasing hostility towards Christianity. Freedom of speech is a precious freedom that we must uphold. This injustice must be tackled to halt the chilling effect already felt by many Christians. The threat to freedom of speech is a concern for wider society, not just for Christians. It’s evident that police all over the UK need clear guidance on this matter. Three wrong arrests in three months just shows the level of ignorance that currently exists. It’s up to police chiefs to take a lead and issue guidelines so that this stops happening.”
Williams is absolutely correct. And whilst the tone towards Christianity is harsh and intolerant, police and local authorities are guilty of regularly bending over backwards in order to accommodate Islam and its militant tendencies.
Video of Rev. Williamson before the arrest