The preacher was “viewed to be persistently and illegally espousing an extreme point of view,” according to his probation officer.
- British street preacher David McConnell was given a 12-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work for calling a transgender person a “gentleman” and a “man in woman’s clothing.”
- McConnell was reportedly assaulted, verbally abused, and had possessions stolen due to the sermon.
- The 2021 incident resulted in McConnell being reported to the U.K.’s Prevent counter-terrorism program over “harassment” claims.
- McConnell’s probation officer claimed that the preacher “is viewed to be persistently and illegally espousing an extreme point of view,” causing the officer to “routinely [liaise] with my colleagues in the Joint Counter Terrorism Team.”
- The counter-terrorism team stated that they “have no further information on Mr. McConnell that would suggest their intervention would be likely or helpful.”
- Chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre Andrea Williams asked, “What state are we in as a society when police fail to protect a street preacher who is assaulted, abused, and has his belongings stolen simply for stating biological reality?”
- The case is part of a “disturbing trend” where people are “being prosecuted and reported as potential terrorists for refusing to celebrate and approve LGBTQ ideology,” Williams continued.
- McConnell is in the process of appealing his conviction.
- In another instance of legal pressure against conservative Christians, American Faith reported in December that Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was arrested for praying silently outside of an abortion clinic in the U.K.
- The incident followed the city of Birmingham implementing censorship zones around abortion facilities that criminalize any individual who appears to be “engaging in any act of approval or disapproval or attempted act of approval or disapproval” related to abortion, including prayer.
- Vaughan-Spruce said, “It’s abhorrently wrong that I was arrested, brought into cells, searched and humiliated by police simply for praying in the privacy of my own mind. Censorship zone legislation purports to ban harassment, which is already illegal and obviously justifiable as nobody should be subject to harassment. But what I did was the furthest thing from harmful – I was exercising my freedom of thought, my freedom of religion, inside the privacy of my own mind.”