An elderly pastor who was arrested by police last year for preaching on a public street in London has been cleared of all “hate speech” charges against him.
Pastor John Sherwood was acquitted by the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, according to his colleague Pastor Peter Simpson. He had been accused of a crime for teaching what the Bible says about marriage.
Pastor Sherwood and Pastor Simpson of the Penn Free Methodist Church of Penn, England, were preaching outside of the Uxbridge Underground Station located in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own constituency, according to Breitbart.
After Sherwood’s arrest, Simpson described what happened to the preacher in an article for the Conservative Woman website.
One of the bystanders had captured Sherwood’s arrest on video and posted it to social media. The video shows Sherwood standing on a step stool as two police officers are talking to him. Much of their conversation is garbled.
However, one police officer who can be heard, asks Sherwood to come down, and the preacher answered him. Then the officer tells Sherwood he is “under arrest” and he needs to “come down.” Then three police officers are seen pulling Sherwood off the stool.
As one police officer is holding Sherwood’s arm, the preacher tries to pull his arm up. This seems to anger the officer who appears to stop himself from kicking the elderly man.
This draws a response from the person who’s videotaping the incident, yelling at police, “You’re on camera. You’re on camera.”
Then two other officers step in to force Sherwood’s hands behind his back, roughly treating him as they put him in handcuffs.
“This dignified man of God, who is in his early 70s, was marched off to a nearby police car, as one of the helpers from my church cried out, ‘What has happened to us as a nation that a man can no longer preach from the Bible?'” Simpson recalled.
Christian Concern, a Christian rights watchdog in the UK, tweeted the video of Sherwood’s arrest, writing: “Arrested for preaching the Bible in North West London. Pastor Sherwood is 75, notice how the arresting officer kicks him?”
Sherwood, who’s in his early 70s, was preaching to people on the final verses found in Genesis 1 of the Bible’s Old Testament.
“God’s design in creating mankind was to set human beings in families, headed by a father and a mother, not by two fathers or by two mothers,” he said. “The distinction within mankind of just two genders, male and female, made in the image of God, constitutes the essence of God’s created order.”
(Christian Broadcasting News)