Sunday, August 16, 2009

Preacher Threatened with Arrest for Publicly Reading Bible

In the United Kingdom, where hate crimes laws rule the land, as little as reading Bible verses that condemn homosexual behavior can land you in jail. In the U.S., hate crimes legislation is only weeks away from being signed by President Obama.

Such controlling of speech and thought will have a chilling effect on evangelism in the U.S. (the U.K. is essentially post-Christian already).

UPDATE 10/9/09: Hate Crimes passing Congress via defense bill; Obama will sign

-- From "Preacher threatened with arrest for reading out extracts from the Bible in public" by Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter, London Telegraph 8/15/09

Lawyers acting for Miguel Hayworth, 29, have demanded an explanation over the alleged intimidation and abuse of power by three officers.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, the director of the Christian Legal Centre, has written to Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, over the incident.

She claims that Mr Hayworth and his father, John, 55, were unlawfully and unfairly treated as they preached Christianity in the city at the end of July.

"They were clearly told that reading the Bible and preaching can be offensive and that they could be arrested," she wrote.

He was reading passages from the Old and New Testaments while his father distributed leaflets containing the message of the gospel.

Mr Hayworth said that at about 2.30pm a second officer confirmed that his colleague had accused the preacher of inciting religious and racial hatred and wanted to warn him that this was an arrestable offence.

Some passages in the Bible are regarded as homophobic. For example, sections read out by Mr Hayworth in St Ann's Square included Romans Chapter 1 Verse 27, from the King James Bible, which says: "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly..."

He also read from 1 Corinthians Chapter 6, Verse 9: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind."

It is against the law to use offensive, threatening or abusive words or behaviour. It is also an offence to incite hatred on grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.