A Christian pastor in the United Kingdom was arrested by police after a member of the public reported him for the “homophobic” comment of saying that marriage was between a man and a woman.
Pastor John Sherwood was accused of making “homophobic” comments when he preached outside Uxbridge Station.
His arrest was handled unpleasantly that the elderly man complained he was bruised and treated “shamefully,” The Daily Mail reported.
A video clip shows the elderly pastor being confronted by police and forcefully handcuffed before being led away.
“I wasn’t making any homophobic comments, I was just defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. I was only saying what the Bible says – I wasn’t wanting to hurt anyone or cause offense,” said John Sherwood, who has been a pastor for 35 years.
“I was doing what my job description says, which is to preach the gospel in the open air as well as in a church building,” he added.
Sherwood was arrested under the Public Order Act, for using “abusive or insulting words” that cause “harm” to another person after a member of the public flagged down officers snitched on him.
Although the pastor was released without charge after spending a night in jail he is still under investigation by the Crown Prosecution Service and could be charged at a later date.
“When the police approached me, I explained that I was exercising my religious liberty and my conscience,” he added. “I was forcibly pulled down from the steps and suffered some injury to my wrist and to my elbow. I do believe I was treated shamefully. It should never have happened.”
A woman recording the incident on her cell phone can repeatedly be heard yelling at the arresting police officers: “You’re on-camera…For a man preaching about Christianity!”
“It is a venue we’ve been to, and the people are quite used to us being there, and usually the police pass by or just nod in approval sometimes,” Sherwood told The Richie Allen Show podcast Thursday. “There must have been some complaints for the police to actually have come there in the first place. They came up and spoke to me and I was preaching at the time so I said, ‘please don’t disturb me because I’m preaching the gospel which is my lawful right to do.’”
“I was preaching from the Holy Bible from Genesis Chapter 1,” Sherwood noted.
“About God creating man in his image, being male and female…I was talking about the husband and wife relationship and children, and the beauty of the family. And it was construed by some as being homophobic even though I never mentioned anything about homosexuals,” he added.
Sherwood later told local news outlets that he was released without being charged and he maintains that he did nothing wrong.
“I wasn’t making any homophobic comments. I was just defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman,” the pastor said Friday. “I was only saying what the Bible says – I wasn’t wanting to hurt anyone or cause offense. I was doing what my job description says, which is to preach the gospel in open air as well as in a church building.
“When the police approached me, I explained that I was exercising my religious liberty and my conscience. I was forcibly pulled down from the steps and suffered some injury to my wrist and to my elbow. I do believe I was treated shamefully. It should never have happened.”
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Author: Martin Walsh
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