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Preacher Faces Jail Over Clinic Verse

by | Thu, Oct 26 2023

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A Welsh preacher who held up a sign with a Bible verse outside a London abortion clinic, could be sent to prison. 72-year-old Stephen Green has been charged with breaking a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). The verse on his sign was from Psalm 139 reading in part: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

The clinic was one of the first in the UK to ban prayer and protest and “engaging in an act of approval or disapproval” towards abortion services  within a buffer zone or designated area around its premises. The Ealing Council decided to prosecute Mr. Green who’s the director of campaign group Christian Voice.

The preacher said: “I was deeply shocked to receive the summons. I see this prosecution as an attack on the Bible and free speech. I am determined to defend myself and fight for justice. People are right to be concerned about the buffer zone legislation. To bar Christian witness and to control what people can say in an area is draconian and anti-Christian. There is a huge principle at stake here. If we are not free to hold a sign with a verse from Psalm 139 on it in a London street, then none of us is free,” he added.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is representing Mr. Green, called the buffer zones “an oppressive part of the current culture which force consent and silence dissent. The effect of the PSPO is to criminalise any act of disapproval of abortion and to create an area where no discussion or even prayer relating to abortion, is permitted.”

“There have now been more than 10 million abortions in the UK since it was legalised in 1967. That is a staggering number. That is almost twice the population of Scotland and more than the entire population of London. Millions of people would be alive today if abortion had not been legalised. Instead of lamenting this loss of life we are industrialising it, making it ever easier to obtain abortion effectively on demand, and now we are criminalising dissent. We will stand with Mr. Green as he seeks justice in this case.” Ms. Williams proclaimed. Christian Today reports his trial will take place early next year.

Photo: Christian Legal Centre