A pastor who was arrested in the UK for holding a biblical sign near an abortion clinic has been found guilty of breaching a Public Spaces Protection Order.
The UK currently prohibits any ‘act of disapproval’ of abortion within the ‘buffer zone.’
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Protestia.com reports: These ‘acts’ includepraying silently or reading from the Bible, which is punishable by up to six months in prison and thousands in fines. This prohibition was seen enforced last October when Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was fined for standing still and praying silently near an abortuary.
According to Lifenews, Pastor Stephen Green was found guilty under “section 67 of the Anti-Social Behavior, Crime, and Policing Act 201” for holding a sign that says ‘For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.’ During sentencing, District Judge Kathryn Verghis told Green:
The extract of the Psalm mentioning ‘my mother’s womb’…was an act of protest against abortion. There were less controversial verses you could have chosen to display. I can come to no other conclusion that [the verse] was an act of disapproval [of abortion services].. an act prohibited [by the PSPO].
Green was given a 1-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay $3100 (USD). He plans to appeal, saying:
“If it is now a criminal offense to hold a sign with a verse from Psalm 139 on it in a London street, then none of us is free.’ I have been ordered to pay costs. Frankly, I would rather go to prison than pay this to the state that has banned the Bible.”