An elderly Christian preacher was manhandled and arrested by police on Friday after complaints were made about his presence in Uxbridge town centre.
Pastor John Sherwood, minister for a north London church was preaching the gospel in Boris Johnson’s constituency town with a colleague. According to an eyewitness account given by fellow minister Peter Simpson to the Conservative Woman, Sherwood was reading from Genesis 1, “declaring that God’s design in creating mankind was to set human beings in families, headed by a father and a mother”.
Police officers were soon on the scene and informed Sherwood that three complaints had been made about his content, specifically the Bible’s distinction within mankind of two genders.
“Pastor Sherwood respectfully told the police that he had freedom of speech and had no intention of desisting from preaching because of the complaints,” his colleague recounted to the conservative website.
“People are free to walk past and ignore him, if they do not like what he is saying. He explained to the officers that his previous comments about families needing a father and mother were made in the context of the divine command to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28). It is a statement of the obvious that two men or two women cannot reproduce.”
One onlooker reportedly called him out for homophobic statements and hate speech and police officers demanded he step down and vacate the area, an order the pastor refused to adhere to.
Video footage posted on social media by the group Christian Concern shows the senior citizen hauled from his stepladder and arrested as onlookers express their disgust at the behaviour by authorities.
“For a man preaching about Christianity”, laments a member of the public as three officers manhandle the 75-year-old before he is taken away in handcuffs.
Laurence Fox’s Reclaim Party blasted the “awful” footage as another clear example of “Sadiq Khan’s two tier policing” which “has to be stopped”.
“That’s the Pastor of my Church. He spent 24 hrs in custody. This shouldn’t be happening in the UK,” responded one social media user to the viral footage.
“I wonder if they’d do that to a Muslim?” asked another.
“The pastor was driven to a police detention centre near Heathrow Airport, where he was kept overnight and not released until around noon the next day. His solicitor described the attitude of officers during the formal interview procedure as very unpleasant,” revealed his colleague Mr Simpson.