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Christian street preacher acquitted after facing public order offence charge

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Issued by the Christian Legal Centre

 

News Release
For immediate release
12 July 2017
 

Another street preacher who was charged under the Public Order Act 1986, after allegedly entering a discussion with two passers-by about homosexuality, has been acquitted.

Andrew Frost was preaching on the streets of Nottingham city centre in March this year. He preached on the consequences of sin, and quoted Luke 13:1-5 and Matthew 15:19.

As he preached, two men holding hands and in a homosexual relationship walked by.

Rory Green, a friend of Mr Frost who was preaching alongside him at the time, reported that the two men shouted abusive comments at Mr Frost. Mr Frost continued to preach from Scripture.

The two men left, but approximately 15 minutes later a woman, who said she was the mother of one of the men, approached Mr Frost, and accused him of abusing her son and his partner. One of the men then returned and called the police.

The two men claimed that Andrew verbally abused them and directed several lewd comments at them, all of which Mr Frost denied.

Mr Frost was charged under the Public Order Act 1986, "with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour."

After hearing all the evidence at Nottingham Magistrate's Court last week, Mr Frost was found not guilty. The court also ordered the repayment of his legal fees.

Mr Frost is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre and was represented in court by allied solicitor Michael Phillips.

 

'Shocked' at allegations

During the hearing last week, the court heard evidence from Mr Frost, Mr Green and four character witnesses, all of whom were shocked at the allegation that Mr Frost had faced.

In particular, Mr Joseph Owiredu told the court that he was 'ex-gay', and had been 'straight' for three years. He spoke of how Mr Frost had acted as a father figure to him.

 

'Moved by the love of God'

Explaining his motivation to preach on the streets, Mr Frost said: "I do what I do because I'm moved by the love of God to go out into the streets and preach to people.

"I wanted these men to know the truth, that Jesus can set them free. Because in the sight of God, these things are wrong."

Mr Frost added that he has been approached by people in same-sex relationships before, and each time reassures them that he has nothing against them.

"I am thankful that the judge saw sense and acquitted me of this charge," he continued. "Christians need to be free to share the good news of the gospel to anyone who will listen – as we are commanded in Scripture to do.

"I am so grateful to the Christian Legal Centre for supporting me throughout this process."

Mr Green commented: "We are law abiding citizens. We love God and love people. We never seek to intentionally hurt people nor cause; alarm, distress and harassment. If anything that day; the two males, their mother and male partner caused us intentional alarm distress and harassment. We deescalated appropriately and wanted to sort this out properly as we did not want them to think we hate them.

"We preach regularly in the city centre the full balanced message of God's love and forgiveness, but we also communicate the consequences of rejecting Jesus' death and resurrection"

He added: "Andrew is a good man and loves people. He wants to see people know Jesus. Andy loves all people, from all walks."


'Result should offer reassurance to Christians'

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Mr Frost, commented: "We are delighted with this result. The freedoms that we enjoy today in this nation are largely due to our biblical foundation, yet the freedom to preach from this very Bible is under increasing threat. At the Christian Legal Centre we are seeing an increasing number of street preachers arrested for preaching the gospel.

"This encouraging result should offer some reassurance to Christians who may feel fearful of the consequences of sharing their beliefs with others." 
 

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