A pastor was arrested in London over his statement on the Biblical definition of marriage.
Pastor John Sherwood was accused of making "homophobic" comments when he preached outside Uxbridge Station. His arrest was handled unpleasantly that the elderly man complained he was bruised and treated "shamefully," The Daily Mail reported.
Sherwood is a 71-year old grandfather who has been ministering in an evangelical church for 35 years in North London.
"I wasn't making any homophobic comments, I was just defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. I was only saying what the Bible says - I wasn't wanting to hurt anyone or cause offence," Sherwood said.
He also said that he was just doing his job of preaching the Gospel.
"When the police approached me, I explained that I was exercising my religious liberty and my conscience. I was forcibly pulled down from the steps and suffered some injury to my wrist and to my elbow. I do believe I was treated shamefully. It should never have happened," he further said.
He was arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act for the said offense. He was held for a night in jail and released without charge but his case will be reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The pastor revealed that the officers also questioned him about his attitude towards gay people.
In the video clip taken during his arrest, the pastor was shown pulled forcibly down a stepladder by officers. He was then handcuffed and taken to the police car.
Arrested for preaching from the Bible in North West London. Pastor Sherwood is 75, notice how the arresting officer kicks him? pic.twitter.com/iwAojPMaNm
"” Christian Concern (@CConcern) April 27, 2021
A spokesman of Metropolitan Police said that in accordance with their professional standards, the footage showed that the officers did not commit misconduct in Sherwood's arrest.
Pastor Peter Simpson of Penn Free Methodist Church stated that everything Sherwood said during his preaching in the tube station was based in the Bible and never uttered anything abusive.
"You don't have to be an evangelical Christian to be shocked by this. Anyone who cares about liberty should be concerned about what happened in Uxbridge. This is about defending our Christian civilisation, or what is left of it. The belief in Genesis 1:27 is fundamental to Christian belief," he added.
He also said that the pastor's arrest is "a dangerous assault" on speech freedom, as well as the freedom of Christian pastors to preach Biblical teachings in public.
"The State has no right to designate that some parts of God's word are no-go areas," Simpson further stated.
Andrea Williams, Christian Legal Centre's chief executive, was "deeply" concerned about the incident. She said that preaching in public has long been practiced in the country as a symbol of its freedom.
She also said that police should know more about freedom of religion and speech.
Williams blamed cancel culture for such incident but argued that the country's laws on protecting the freedom to preach publicly "are very strong," adding that the center has been defending Christian preachers for more than a decade already and has always won.
This recent incident provides a glimpse at what could happen should Biden's Equality Act become law in America.