Footage has emerged online showing a Christian preacher being arrested by Metropolitan Police officers after they allegedly received reports the man had caused members of the public ‘alarm and distress.
A female police officer is seen to be speaking with the preacher and informing him he is being arrested on suspicion of a ‘Hate Crime’.
The 71-year-old pastor of a north London church was arrested on April 23 under the United Kingdom’s Public Order Act for allegedly making “homophobic comments” during a public sermon, video shows.
A woman recording the incident on her cell phone can repeatedly be heard yelling at the arresting police officers: “You’re on camera…For a man preaching about Christianity!”
I saw & listened to this delightful well dressed gentleman preaching the Gospel on Friday in Uxbridge centre. @metpoliceuk please explain why it is an offence to preach Christianity in London? pic.twitter.com/X5b3VXn0Yp
— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) May 2, 2021
One United Kingdom-based group, Christian Concern, which defends people of faith, described the incident as a “brutal arrest” that sets a bad precedent for religious freedom of speech throughout the country.
Leader of the Reform Party Richard Tice shared the video on social media and questioned: “I saw & listened to this delightful well-dressed gentleman preaching the Gospel on Friday in Uxbridge centre. @metpoliceuk please explain why it is an offence to preach Christianity in London?”
Many on social media compared it to the time a Christian street preacher who had his Bible confiscated and was handcuffed by police. He was later awarded £2,500 for wrongfully being arrested.
A representative for Christian Concern told a U.K. news outlet last week: “There is an idea that if people are offended, you should arrest someone, but in this country, we also have freedom of speech…But everything he said was Bible-based. He was not saying anything abusive.”
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