UK Cathedral Had Man Arrested for the 'Disturbance' of Reading the Bible
Last month, British police arrested a man for reading the Bible outside of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The police officer asked the preacher to move off of cathedral property at the request of church staff. When the man refused, he was arrested for a "breach of the peace." In a statement to PJ Media, the cathedral defended its actions, but went on to say that it worked out a deal with the preacher to allow him to read the Bible going forward.
"Why am I having a problem reading the Bible, the Word of God, when the Lord has told me to read the Bible here?" the preacher asked the policeman in a video of the incident.
"Security staff here have asked me to move you off the property," the cordial policeman replied. "Staff here have asked you to leave." The officer suggested that all the preacher needed to do was move a few feet. "All you need to do to save any kind of breach of the peace and anyone getting in any trouble is to move your location."
To this, the preacher refused. "Then we're going to have to arrest you for breach of the peace," the officer responded.
"Yeah, you'll have to do that to me. You'll have to take me in, because I'm not moving," the Bible reader responded. "The Lord has asked me to read the Bible here. These people need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. You're not allowing them to hear it."
The preacher went on. "This Bible is all I'm reading. It's the King James Bible, which is authorized by the Queen."
Later, the Bible reader became more belligerent. "You are trespassing on God's authority," he told the policeman. "I am telling you, sir — I know you're police, I appreciate your work — I am not committing a crime. I am giving the word of God and that is not a crime."
As the preacher turned back to read the Bible, the policeman arrested him, and a woman filming the encounter asked, "Are you saying reading the Bible is breaching the peace?"
The Cathedral argued that it was breaching the peace, but not because he was reading the Bible.
"In order to provide a prayerful and safe space for all, including on the cathedral's land at the entrances to the building, St. Paul's Cathedral has a policy of limiting any form of public protest, demonstration, preaching or other source of disturbance to people outside the cathedral," a St. Paul's spokesperson told PJ Media on Thursday.
"The Chapter's policy is to allow a short interval and then ask the person to desist, and to involve the police if they refuse to stop or to move off the cathedral's land," the spokesperson added.