A Christian pastor was recently arrested for the second time for preaching on the streets of Perth, Scotland.
Rev Josh Williamson, pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church, regularly takes to the streets to hand out leaflets, talk to passers-by and do open-air preaching.
He had already been arrested just a few days earlier in September for “breach of the peace”.
He was to be held in custody for two nights but was released after being held for over five hours in the cells.
A video recording was made of his arrest and has been uploaded to video-sharing site Youtube.
The recording includes footage of Rev Williamson’s conversation with police on the street, his arrest and audio of the conversation in the police car on the way to the station.
In the recording, he can be heard repeatedly asking. “What law am I breaking?” The police officer tells him she’s had complaints about the volume of his preaching.
Rev Williamson comments, “There’s two buskers using amplification in this high street, making a ton of noise. I don’t see you talking to them. But you come to a preacher not using amplification and you speak to him. Why is that, sergeant?”
She repeats that she’s had a complaint about him.
“If you fail to desist,” she tells him, “you will be arrested for breach of the peace.”
The pastor replies, “Well I’m going to continue preaching, because I’m not breaking the law.” He is then arrested.
His MP3 player was kept as crown evidence and the Procurator Fiscal (a public prosecutor) will review the evidence.
Rev Williamson, whose case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, is the third Christian street preacher to be arrested since July. Tony Miano was arrested in London in July and Robbie Hughes was arrested in Basildon in September.
Following the Perth pastor’s first arrest, Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Legal Centre, said:
“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.”
Source – Christian Concern