Letter to the Editor
Open Air Preaching Under Assault
We minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the open air under continuous threat from the authorities. Recently while preaching at The Cross, in the centre of our City, Security men came and stood alongside me monitoring my message. After 20 minutes a more senior woman Security Officer arrived and asked the 2 men “Is he all right?” One of the Security men replied “He’s only speaking about Jesus”. She then personally monitored my message for a further 10 minutes. She left and the 2 men continued to monitor me for a further 20 minutes. A Black Brother, who was giving out gospel tracts with us, approached the 2 Officers and asked them what they were doing. The security officer explained they were there to deal with “Any Disturbance”.
Meanwhile in mid September Tony Rollins, who has an Asperger disability, was preaching in the open air in Liverpool when he had his bag containing his medication and his Ray Comfort Bible stolen. The preacher complains that the police would not attend to question the young lads who had previously taken his sign boards. With respect to the sign boards passers-by retrieved them for Tony. The preacher claims that the young lads had pointed their fingers at his eyes and called him abusive names. Tony Rollins says that what annoys him is that in the past he got arrested handcuffed and prosecuted by the police within 8 minutes when he quoted from the Bible, in response to someone’s question to him. But when important items are stolen from him he waited from 2pm to 8pm and no police came to help a vulnerable adult like him. Tony Rollins says the police said there were no police in the City centre, but the preacher claims that people had seen them there. (That past police prosecution against Tony Rollins failed after prolonged repeated court action by the authorities. The police as part of their prosecution confiscated this same Ray Comfort Bible, which they apparently initially intended to refer to in court as evidence of criminal activity! Tony Rollins had great difficulty getting his Ray Comfort Bible back from the police after that court case against him failed).
Another open air preacher Paul Caine is trying to work out how to get a new Passport and Driving Licence after he had them stolen while out preaching the Gospel in the open air.