Immediate 9.00 hrs Sunday 3rd September 2006
The National Director of a Christian prayer and lobby group was arrested by South Wales Police yesterday afternoon for distributing Gospel tracts at a homosexual event. An Inspector Chad, wearing a fluorescent vest with 'Minorities Support Unit' on the back, detained Stephen Green when he refused to stop giving out the leaflets to people entering Bute Park in Cardiff, where the 'Mardi Gras' event was being held.
Mr Green was kept in the cells at Cardiff Police Station for over four hours before being charged with using 'threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby, contrary to section 5(1) and (6) of the Public Order Act 1986'. He is due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates Court next Wednesday (6th September) at 9.45am.
Stephen Green said today:
"I thank God for the honour of being locked up for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All the same, I am astonished that South Wales Police have a special unit dedicated to silencing those who disagree with homosexuality. Stonewall, the homosexual rights organisation, say the South Wales Police 'Minorities Support Unit' 'works closely with the LGBT communities'. Maybe they work a bit too closely when an evangelist can be victimised simply because he is giving out leaflets quoting verses from the same Bible police officers swear on in court.
"Speaking about righteousness, morality, sin, repentance and the forgiveness sinners can find in the cross of Jesus Christ may well offend the fragile sensibilities of homosexuals, but should the police have a partisan unit whose job is to round up Christian dissidents, treat them like thought criminals and trample on freedom of speech?
"I am constantly hearing stories of Christian preachers being told to shut up by bullying police officers with personal issues or axes to grind. In most cases they simply comply. But if we are to safeguard our historic freedoms, someone has to make a stand. I just pray that God's strength will be enough for me to see this through, because I know from the words of Christ that in my own strength I can do nothing.
"The leaflet itself, 'Same-Sex Love - Same-Sex Sex; What does the Bible say?'
(Click on the link to view the leaflet) isn't even that hard-hitting. Sure, it quotes the Bible to establish that same-sex sex is sin, it says that no-one has to stay gay and asks how the reader will stand in the Day of Judgment. But it concentrates on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, those words of the Lord Jesus which have given countless people down the ages the assurance of God's forgiveness if they truly repent. It ends by quoting the famous verse of John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life'. That's good news.
"The Cross will always be 'a rock of offense' to those who disobey God's eternal word. We shall just have to see whether the Courts will agree with the gay-friendly police of South Wales that the Christian faith of the United Kingdom, and the Bible which is read in churches up and down the land, and upon which the Queen took her Coronation Oath, is now 'threatening, abusive or insulting'.