Urgently ask the Home Secretary to protect the freedom of Christian street preachers to preach on our streets
UPDATE: Pastor Ilesanmi has now been awarded £2,500 by the Metropolitan Police in relation to his false arrest, imprisonment and unlawful detention. Marking the resolution of his case, Pastor Oluwole will deliver the petition, Tuesday (30 July) at 10.30am at the Home Office to the new Home Secretary Priti Patel, as well as to London City Hall. The Christian Legal Centre, which has assisted Pastor Oluwole throughout the case, has also written to chief constables across the country, asking them to uphold the freedom of street preachers to speak freely about Jesus Christ in public. This letter will be delivered on Tuesday to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick.
Pastor Oluwole said:
“I am glad that the police have recognised that it was not right to arrest me for preaching from the Bible. It was traumatic being arrested and left many miles from my home...When I came to the UK it was a free Christian country, but now preachers like me are being arrested for speaking the truth. Christians and freedom of speech must be protected, especially by the government and police. I hope this recognition of fault can lead to more Christians being protected and the police gaining greater insight into what it means to lawfully proclaim the Word of God on our streets.
“I am amazed and so grateful for the support I have received from people across the world and the Christian Legal Centre.”
A video of street preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi being arrested outside Southgate Underground station has been seen by millions of people worldwide.
It's not the first time a Christian street preacher has been wrongly arrested in the UK. Christian street preachers should be free to share the gospel, even where it means challenging the beliefs of others. The law rightly protects freedom of speech, even if it offends, shocks or disturbs others. But too often, police officers have shown themselves either to be ignorant of this freedom, or unwilling to uphold it. This leads to a chilling effect, where people are increasingly unwilling to say what they believe, for fear of arrest.
Please ask the Home Secretary to urgently investigate what guidance and training is being given to police officers nationwide to ensure that they protect the freedom to preach in public.
Find out more by clicking here: https://www.christianconcern.com/our-issues/freedom-of-speech/police-caught-out-by-street-preacher-evidence