Yes freedom to preach Christ in the UK is under official attack.

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Court convicts street preachers in ‘modern-day heresy trial’

Help Mike Overd and Michael Stockwell appeal their conviction


Mike Overd

Thank you for praying for Mike Overd, Michael Stockwell and Adrian Clark.
We give thanks that last Friday Bristol Magistrates’ Court dismissed the charges against Adrian, saying that there was no case to answer.
But on Tuesday, the court convicted Mike and Michael of a religiously aggravated public order offence.
The court ordered Mike and Michael to pay £2,016 each in costs and fines.
Help Mike and Michael appeal this dangerous ruling
Christian Legal Centre allied solicitor, Michael Phillips, who represented the preachers in court, described the hearing as a modern-day heresy trial, dressed up under the Public Order Act”.
His comments came after prosecutor Ian Jackson claimed that quoting parts of the King James Bible in modern Britain, as the preachers did, should be considered “abusive” and “a criminal matter”.
Mike and Michael continue to be supported by the Christian Legal Centre, and are appealing the conviction.
Help us protect gospel freedoms
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‘Not a matter of truth’

During the trial, the prosecutor claimed that “although the words preached are included in a version of the Bible in 1611, this does not mean that they are incapable of amounting to a public order offence in 2016.”
To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth,” he later argued.
But Michael Phillips told the court that “every negative remark about other religions and ways of life are taken straight from [biblical] texts.
“The preachers do not use inflammatory language, but simply the language of the Bible. If it is the case that the crown seeks to ban biblical scripture, that would be a bold move.
He went on to argue that “We need to stand against the movement which says it’s only ok to say things that don’t offend others.
“That might be nice for people in the short term, but it is not beneficial in the long term,” he said.
Read the full story
Yes, I want to stand with Mike and Michael

‘God’s message of love, considered hate’

Responding to the judgment, one of the preachers, Michael Stockwell, said:
“Our motivation for public preaching is love. We want people to have access to the good news about Jesus Christ.
“I am shocked that God’s message of love, is now considered hateful and dangerous. Today, speaking God’s truth seems to be a hate crime, according to some.
“There is a very disturbing pattern here. We declare Jesus’ message and critique rival beliefs such as Islam. Some people don’t like what we say, and threaten violence to silence us. Then, instead of defending free speech and protecting us, the police shut down free speech to avoid public disorder. And then a court convicts us of provoking disorder and risking violence!
“Something has gone badly wrong. This gives a green light to Islamists and other groups to silence speech that they don’t like, simply by threatening disorder or violence.”

‘Extraordinary ruling’

Andrea Williams went on to explain:
“The Bible and its teachings are the foundation of our society and provided many of the freedoms and protections that we still enjoy today. So it is extraordinary that the prosecution, speaking on behalf of the state, could say that the Bible contains abusive words which, when spoken in public, constitute a criminal offence.
Today’s ruling, in effect, states that Bible is offensive and contains illegal speech which should not be shared in public. This is a very serious state of affairs and Mike and Michael are absolutely right to appeal the decision.
“‘Offence’ is a very subjective thing and is easily manipulated to shut down viewpoints that people simply don’t like. Any suggestion that there is a right not to be offended must be strongly resisted. In today’s democracy, we need the freedom to debate, challenge and disagree.
Mike and Michael were saying nothing that wouldn’t be heard at speakers’ corner in Hyde Park – presenting the claims of the Bible, answering the crowd’s questions and objections, and responding to abuse which was hurled at them. For a court to rule that this breaks the law is extraordinary.
Please help us as we support Mike and Michael in appealing this dangerous ruling.”
Yes, I support the freedom to preach the Bible publicly
Read the full story

Published by Julian Kennedy

Bus pass carrying 67 year old disciple of Jesus Christ. Member and deacon of Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena. Married to Marianna. Son Joseph at home. Two daughters Marie Isabel and Kirsty in England. Enjoys keeping fit (including indoor rowing), watching track and field, nature and nature documentries. Got hip replacement in April 2014 and major surgery to re-align right knee in November 2017. Blessed in the Covenant love of God in Christ. Retired Emergency Medicine Specialty Doctor.

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