I used to speak with people about my faith on the streets of Birmingham in the 1970s. I and my friends often found people keen to listen to our message. It sounds like things are not as free now. Two ministers claim police threatened to arrest them for â€˜hate crime’ for evangelising in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.
Arthur Cunningham (48) and Joseph Abraham (65) were leafleting in Alum Rock Road and began talking to four Asian youths when they were forced to stop by a police community support officer (PCSO). Mr Cunningham reported, “The the PCSO said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam.”
The two evangelists have launched legal action against West Midlands Police for infringing their right to profess their religion. They claim the PCSO warned if they returned to the area they might get beaten up.
This sort of attack on our centuries-old freedom to preach the Christian Gospel should be resisted. Good for them I say, the police should issue and apology.
What strikes me from their photograph, is that they seem such a cheerful pair.