LONDON – Missions Box News featured a story on August 1, 2018, about a “London Man Arrested for Reading the Bible Aloud on Church Property.” News sources around the globe are now reporting the arrest of another street preacher on the streets of London on February 23rd. A video of the arrest has gone viral on the internet.
A cursory online search revealed that these incidents were two of at least three that have occurred in London in the past 10 months.
In each case, the street preachers were accused of using either offensive, racist, homophobic, or Islamophobic language. Yet, it also appears that the ‘offensive’ language was not the preachers’ own words, but scripture passages they were reading.
The two men detained in July 2018 for reading the Bible aloud and offering gospel tracts were told by police, “It is against the law to preach and hand out tracts: preaching causes offense and handing out tracts is harassment and could result in an arrest.”
The gentleman featured in our August 1, 2018 article, “did nothing but read from the Gospels. He did not preach or attempt in any way to disrupt any other activity outside . . . St. Paul’s Cathedral.”
On this current occasion, London police officers arrested an elderly Nigerian man outside of the Southgate Underground Station. The officers approached and asked what he was doing.
He responded that he was preaching. The officers then said we are “going to require you to go away.”
The as yet unidentified preacher stood firm.
“I will not go away because I need to tell them the truth. Because Jesus is the only way, the truth — because Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life.”
The conversation escalated when the officer replied,
“I appreciate that, but nobody wants to listen to that.”
After the preacher refused to give ground, the policemen took his Bible and handcuffed him. When he asked for his Bible, the second officer said, “You should have thought about that before being racist.” They arrested him for breaching the peace.
The police arrived on the scene in response to a complaint about the man’s behavior. Although we have been unable to confirm the details, it is generally believed that the complaint was lodged by a Muslim man who had earlier stopped to debate the preacher. This seems to be substantiated by a statement from the Metropolitan police who told Faithwire that “the initial report suggested some Islamophobic language has been used.”
The Metro Police added that “Nobody has made a formal allegation to this effect and no language of this nature was used in the presence of officers.”
The gentleman was later de-arrested and released.
Dr. Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen, argued that,
“The police have closed down freedom of speech and become Christianophobic. If we fail to protest, we will lose our freedom under the law.”
To read more news on Evangelism on Missions Box, go here.
- Lifesite News, ‘Islamophobic’ Christian man arrested in London for preaching the gospel
- Daily Mail, Police snatch Bible from hands of elderly Christian preacher before they handcuff and arrest him for breaching the peace after claim he was being racist
- Christian Today, Another street preacher arrested
- CBN News, ‘Don’t Take My Bible Away!’ Shocking Arrest of Peaceful Street Preacher Caught on Video
- The Telegraph, Preacher threatened with arrest for reading out extracts from the Bible in public