American Christians Face 'Hate Crime' for Preaching Gospel (Birmingham, England)
American Christians Face 'Hate Crime' for Preaching Gospel
Two American-born pastors handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham, England, were threatened with arrest and warned of being beaten for committing what an officer called a "hate crime."
Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, were handing out the leaflets and talking with local youths when they were approached and questioned by a police community support officer, or PCSO.
When the officer discovered the two Birmingham pastors were born in the U.S., he began a heated criticism of President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cunningham explained that the gospel message was not linked to American foreign policy, but the officer reportedly became belligerent.
"He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message," Cunningham told the London Telegraph. "He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."