Police in London arrested a Christian street preacher for allegedly causing “alarm and distress” to pedestrians for citing allegedly “homophobic” verses from Genesis.
On Friday, Pastor John Sherwood was preaching alongside Pastor Peter Simpson of the Penn Free Methodist Church outside the Uxbridge Underground Station — in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own constituency.
Writing in the Conservative Woman on Tuesday, Pastor Simpson said that Sherwood preached on the final verses of Genisis 1, saying: “God’s design in creating mankind was to set human beings in families, headed by a father and a mother, not by two fathers or by two mothers. The distinction within mankind of just two genders, male and female, made in the image of God, constitutes the essence of God’s created order.”
Simpson said that the police informed them that three complaints were made in response to the street sermon.
He said that a police officer warned that he and Sherwood should avoid making any “homophobic statements” and that there is “no freedom to make statements which offend people”.
The police ultimately dragged Sherwood off his step stool and forcibly handcuffed the septuagenarian preacher.
“This dignified man of God, who is in his early 70s, was marched off to a nearby police car, as one of the helpers from my church cried out, ‘What has happened to us as a nation that a man can no longer preach from the Bible?” Pastor Simpson related.
Video of the incident was published on social media on Tuesday by the charity Christian Concern.
In a statement given to Premier Christian News, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “At 13:35hrs on Friday, 23 April, officers on patrol were flagged down by a member of the public who made them aware of a man allegedly making homophobic comments close to Uxbridge Underground Station.
“A number of other people also approached the officers with concerns about the man’s language.
“Officers spoke with the 71-year-old man and he was subsequently arrested on suspicion of an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.”
Simpson said that Sherwood spent the night in lockup in a detention centre near Heathrow Airport and was not released until noon the following day. Sherwood reportedly remains under police investigation.
He relayed that during his detention, Sherwood was questioned by officers about what he would do if he had a homosexual child.
“It is surely the task of police to ask questions about the specific alleged offence, not more general questions about why someone holds a personal view on an aspect of Biblical morality,” the Pastor noted.
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