Trial Underway in UK for Preachers Arrested for ‘Anti-Social’ Opposition to Islam, Homosexuality

Stockwell, Overd and Clark with a representative from Christian Concern

BRISTOL, UK — A trial is currently underway in the United Kingdom for three preachers who were arrested last July on accusations of “causing a disturbance” and engaging in “anti-social behavior” after some listeners became offended by their speech about issues such as Islam, Buddhism, homosexuality and divorce.

Michael Overd, Adrian Clark and Michael Stockwell appeared in Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and Friday as part of a four-day trial over accusations that they violated a section of the Crime and Disorder Act, which prohibits speech or behavior causing “intentional harassment, alarm or distress” that is “racially or religiously aggravated.”

Prosecutor Ian Jackson “told the court some of the statements made by the preachers may have been in the King James Bible, translated in 1611, but that did not mean they were acceptable in 2016,” according to the Daily Mail.

Video of the incident was played in court on Friday.

As previously reported, the men had been taking turns open air preaching outside of the Bristol shopping center on July 6, while others engaged passersby in conversation and/or held gospel signs.

Two of those involved in the evangelism effort, Mike Stockwell and Don Karns, were American citizens visiting the country to share the gospel. Charges against Karns were later dropped.

The men allegedly preached on a variety of issues, including Islam, Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuality, fornication, divorce—and also presented the gospel and took questions from those who stopped to listen.

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Police state that some became offended, as statements reportedly included remarks such as “Allah is the greatest deceiver—that’s in the Koran,” “David Cameron is no more a Christian than my dogs” and that false religion leads men to “the gates and the very depth of Hell.”

An online video shows the moment the men were arrested.

“The purpose of mankind is to worship God and enjoy Him,” declared Overd, who was preaching at the time. “You need to obey God and obey His commands. I hated His commands once and I remember what that mind frame is—it is like banging your head against a brick wall.”

Seconds later, Overd was approached by a police officer, who ordered him to leave the area.

“Look, you are causing a disturbance now,” the officer stated. “You are not welcome.”

“Go home! Go home!” a few men nearby chanted.

The officer warned that if Overd did not stop preaching, he would be arrested.

“For God so loved the world, guys, that He gave His only begotten…” Overd declared, advising that he was not going to leave.

The officer consequently grabbed Overd by the arm while he was speaking and pulled him away. The crowd clapped and cheered enthusiastically.

“There’s a line of freedom of speech,” the officer told Overd. “[I]t’s when you’re causing a disturbance, that is, aggravating people, anti-social behavior, which you were causing.”

“How were we causing it?” Overd asked. “What did we say?”

“People were getting angry. You were challenging [homosexuality]. You were challenging Muslims,” the officer replied.

“But just saying what the Bible says,” Overd noted.

“That’s fine,” the officer said.

“Well, if it’s fine, why are you arresting me?” Overd asked.

The legal organization Christian Concern states that Overd, Clark and Stockwell will put forward in court that their case “raises crucial issues of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

“They highlight that they simply explained the Bible’s teaching and sought to respond to questions, comments and objections raised by those in the crowd,” the group outlined in a press release. “The men say that they cannot and should not distort the plain teaching of the Bible that Jesus is God’s Son and the only way to God.”

“[E]ven though the law’s not being broken, it’s people being offended by the gospel and what it says about our sin,” Overd also stated in a video produced by Christian Concern.

Update 2:53 p.m.: As of Friday afternoon, charges have been dismissed against Clark, but Overd and Stockwell remain on trial.

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  • Connie Tomas

    Why can’t we support those Muslims in their own country instead of bringing them to our country?? They are more familiar with their own surroundings and language….

    • Amos Moses

      because that aint in their game plan ……………..

      • ppp777

        Bang on , the new world order is clearly their agenda , thank God for Gods word .

  • Robert

    You can use the bible wrong and use it to cause trouble
    You could go and preach some good things about Jesus as the world’s only savior and then start quoting bible passages about slavery in a colored neighbor hood . Using Jesus to condemn those who misunderstand a scripture and slavery relationship.

    It sounds like they were doing simular . Instead of teaching about Jesus’s humbly it sounds like they were using Jesus as battering ram against the false God of Islam in a Muslim area. AND doing the same with the wrong and false God of homosexuality.

    • ppp777

      You cannot preach to reprobates

      • Chris

        “You cannot preach to reprobates which sodomites are ,”

        Well since the term Sodomite [as used in the bible] means an inhabitant of Sodom then I would guess you are correct. They are long past being preached to if they ever existed.

  • Amos Moses

    apparently the “free world” …. aint ……….

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    So unfair. Westerners mock Christianity and bully Christians all the time though Christianity is no longer white men’s religion. They should arrest those who oppose Christianity as well, to be fair.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Secular West is so stupid. It’s true that Islam poses danger to all Non-Muslims as the doctrine itself commands ill-treatment of all infidels. Religions do not change doctrines. Every man has to arm himself to peacefully co-exist with the Muslim population in order to retain the basic level of freedom. And it’s true that endorsement of homosexuality corrupts everyone in the society and endangers every child within. Non-christian West neither has truth or freedom or even a common sense as a human being. Non-christian West is only trying to protect the rule of the laws when there are no sane laws to beging with. The West has goodness and wisdom only when it was Christian principles. Everyone is free and safe and civilized only under the Christian dominion.

  • Nensul

    Free speech includes speech you disagree with , if everyone agreed then we wouldn’t need laws to have free speech to start with, if you don’t like it then you don’t have to listen, leave the area

  • Chet

    This prosecutor needs to learn that the Ancient of Days changes never and what He declared in eternity past still applies today, tomorrow and eternity forward. Get in step, mister, you cannot stifle the free flow of God’s Word…

  • blobclark

    England ….is now Sodom. “the crowd cheered as the men were taken away” …while preaching the word.

    • ppp777

      ” There is nothing new under the sun ” .

    • IzTheBiz

      And we know what happened to Sodom!

      • Chris

        “And we know what happened to Sodom!”

        I’m going to guess nothing since there’s no evidence that Sodom ever existed.

        • ppp777

          Oh I thought that was what you were getting at , well if it did not exist than God is a liar [ Jesus of course ] and we may as well all go home and besides if there were a lot of physical evidence for it would be something else considering it was burned to a crisp .

          • Chris

            “Oh I thought that was what you were getting at , well if it did not
            exist than God is a liar…”

            Or the bible isn’t meant to be taken literally. Or the story is a morality tale. Or The writer was merely relaying folk tales. Funny how your interpretation has to be correct or God lied. Mighty big jump don’t you think?

            “[Jesus of course ]”
            Or Jesus could have been referring to the morality tale. Or the gospel writer mishead or misreported what Jesus said. Or…need I go on?

            “…and we may as well all go home and besides if there were a lot of physical evidence for it would be something else considering it was burned to a crisp .”

            Yep except cities still leave evidence of their existence even if the entire city vanishes. For example mention of the city in other towns which were trading partners, remains of the city’s fields, depictions of the city in monuments in other cities, etc.

        • antifasciste

          Some historians posit, an asteroid destroyed a city where Sodom may have existed.

          • Chris

            Well that would certainly explain the lack of evidence. Wouldn’t explain the lack of a big crater though.

          • antifasciste

            If the asteroid broke up as it went through the atmosphere, it could have been “raining fire” but not create one large crater. The said historians are proposing one hypothesis, not really a tested model or theory.

          • Chris

            Interesting idea. Thank you for the heads up antifasciste.

  • blobclark

    London does have a muslim mayor. interesting how and ironic, that muslims drag women to their deaths, push gays off roofs and behead folks , while the preachers were simply speaking. Do recall that england does NOT have a 1st amendment , being a different nation. I will certainly not be spending any of my vacation money there in england.

    • antifasciste

      England not only doesn’t have a 1st Amendment, they don’t have a written Constitution. They do , however, practice Parliamentary supremecy. If one doesn’t like the law, get it changed, the courts there won’t overturn it.

  • ppp777

    England is certainly beyond redemption .

  • Rich FSr

    UK, what the hell did you do to yourselves that you can be brought up on trial for disagreeing with a religion or lifestyle or organization.