A man was arrested outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London after reading the Bible in public. The street preacher insisted to a police officer that he was “not committing a crime” as the arrest took place.
A video released on social media shows a bearded man with an American accent being spoken to by a police officer in an open paved area in a pedestrian zone near the steps of St Paul’s.
The man asked the policeman why he is being told to move on while other people are standing there talking, before adding he is a preacher and that he has been reading the King James Bible there for weeks.
The police officer tells him, ”I haven’t got a problem with what you are doing, but staff here have asked you to move off of the property.”
When the preacher continues to politely protest the police officer says, “then I will arrest you for a breach of the peace”.
Standing up for his rights, the preacher replies, “You are going to have to do that…The Lord has asked me to read the Bible here. These people need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are not allowing them to hear.” As the officer reads him his rights, he continues to insist he is not committing a crime.
A woman filming the incident is heard asking the officer, “Are you saying reading the Bible is a breach of the peace?” before the video ends.
In the wake of similar incidents to the one above Barnabas Fund, a Christian charity has launched a petition to call upon the UK government to introduce a new law to enshrine fully and permanently hard-fought-for religious freedoms, including the freedom to read Scriptures in public.