Life & Society

Four street preachers arrested in Bristol after alleged anti-Muslim comments

Four street preachers were arrested in Bristol in front of a cheering crowd of shoppers on Wednesday.

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Street preachers in Bristol were arrested.

The men were preaching in Broadmead, Bristol’s main city centre shopping area.

According to a witness interviewed by the Bristol Evening Post, an angry crowd gathered round them as they preached that “Allah does not exist” and “All Muslims will burn in hell”.

She also said they had called people “disgusting” for being gay, divorced or living in sin.

In the video footage one of the preachers, who says he is called Michael, states: “The purpose is to worship God. I have some sympathy for you sinners, but the purpose of mankind is to worship God.

“You need to obey God and obey his commands.

“I hated his commands once and I remember what that mind frame is – it is like banging your head against a brick wall.”

A police officer then approaches him and states: “Right, mate, look you are causing a disturbance now, you are not welcome.”

The crowd begin chanting “go home, go home, go home” to the four men.

The police officer then warns the man he will receive a dispersal notice under the anti-social behaviour act. He asks for the preacher’s name, to which he replies “Michael” but refuses to give his surname.

He refuses to leave and is forced to do so by the police officer.

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The men were originally thought to be part of the US-based Cross Encounters Ministries, which posted on its Facebook page: “We have received word that Mike Overd, Mike Stockwell, Don Karns, and Adrian Clark have been arrested while open-air preaching in Bristol.” In an echo of the experience of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25, it says: “I’ve also received word the brothers are rejoicing and singing hymns in their cell(s).

“Yes, pray for these our brothers in this time of momentary light affliction. Pray also for churches and Christians in England that they will not cower and turn their backs on these bold men of God.”

However, a later post said they were not members of Cross Encounters, though they had the “full support” of the individual who posted the comment, thought to be founder Tony Miano, an evangelist and retired police officer.

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