The National Director of Christian Voice, a prayer and lobby group, was arrested by South Wales Police for distributing gospel tracts at a homosexual event. Stephen Green 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 held for four hours in cells at Cardiff Police Station 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’.
Appearing before city magistrates, Mr Green who is from Carmarthen, denied using threatening words and behaviour while handing out leaflets – entitled Same-sex love – same-sex sex: What does the Bible say? He was remanded on unconditional bail. During the two-minute hearing he was supported by a small group of Christians.
In an email to Christian Voice supporters, Stephen Green said: ‘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 right-eousness, 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’.