A video of a street preacher being arrested in London has left Christians and non-Christians alike outraged.
The footage of an African man being handcuffed over a charge of “breaching the peace” has accumulated over two million views and thousands of comments on Twitter.
This afternoon an African Christian preacher was arrested in London for preaching about Jesus Christ. This is very sad to see. What happened to freedom of speech? pic.twitter.com/BId74SOgun
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) February 23, 2019
“What are you doing here?” the police officer asks the man who was preaching the Word nearby Southgate Underground station.
“I am preaching,” the man answered, after which the cop stated, “I am going to require you to go away.”
“You can never,” replied the preacher.
After the officer told him he was going to be arrested for breaching the peace, the man questioned, “What breach of peace?”
“It’s what you’re doing at the moment,” said the policeman. “You’re causing problems. You’re disturbing people’s days and you’re breaching their peace… So if you won’t go away voluntarily, we will have to arrest you.”
“I will not go away, because I need to tell them the Truth,” the street preacher boldly declared. “Because Jesus is the only way, the Truth and the life.”
“But nobody wants to listen to that,” the officer retorted in frustration. “They want you to go away.”
“Oh, you don’t want to listen to that. You will listen when you’re dead,” said the man.
Seconds later, the cop and his colleague proceeded to arrest the professing Christian while abruptly ripping his Bible from his hands.
“Don’t take my Bible away. Don’t take my Bible away!” the preacher cried out.
“You should have thought about that before being racist!” the officer who confiscated the Bible responded.
The Metropolitan Police were later contacted for comment on the incident, and they admitted that the Christian man did actually not make any racist comments, contrary to the implications made by the policeman’s comments.
They explained that “no language of this nature was used in the presence of officers.”
The preacher was later ‘de-arrested’ and no further action was deemed necessary, though many argue that this innocent man’s release was not enough. The Internet is demanding an apology from the officers who made false accusations and breached the man’s freedom of speech.
This is deeply deeply concerning. The way his bible was removed is horrendous. These officers should be ashamed of themselves for the way they dealt with this. https://t.co/apzj9HXKOf
— Father Matthew (@matthewcashmore) February 24, 2019
“The police have closed down freedom of speech and become Christianophobic,” said one former chaplain and clergyman, Reverend Dr. Gavin Ashenden. “If we fail to protest we will lose our freedom under the law.”
Others enraged by the arrest have circulated a side-by-side video posted by pro-life activist and Christian Obianuju Ekeocha. The clip reflects a visual comparison of how the UK police force responded to a Muslim preacher versus their reaction to the Christain preacher. Many claim that the favor shown for the Muslim man was unfair.
The internet is a glorious invention!!!
Watch this video that was put together by @LeaveEUOfficial. See how the UK police treat Muslim preacher vs how they treated our Christian preacher.
Dear @metpoliceuk pls be better.
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) February 24, 2019
Despite Internet-wide pleas, a public apology to the street preacher has yet to be made by the Metropolitan Police.