UK: Manchester Councillor Pat Karney in the U.K. is seeking to crack down on street preachers, buskers and those who engage in commerce in the public streets says that preachers are wrong to talk about morality in the open air and to make their hearers feel “insecure” with their preaching.
When asked him to clarify whether the city council plans to place restrictions on street preachers as part of his goal to reduce public “nuisances.”
The Christian Institute sent a warning to the council and plan to support the street preachers’ right to address people in public spaces.
The letter says: “The Christian Institute has long supported the rights of street preachers and has funded several legal cases where local authorities or police have unlawfully interfered with those rights.”
Karney intends to silence ‘noisy’ street preachers or those who may provoke members of the public.
And said they would target street preachers who authorities feel project their voice too much or discuss issues that some members of the public may find offensive.
“Preachers do have a right to be out on the streets, but I do not think it right if they are talking about morality,” he stated. “Some talk about race or sexual orientation and that is not proper at all.”
“They’re perfectly entitled to talk about Jesus and the word of God, but not to make anyone feel insecure or threatened,” Karney stated.
While the Christian Institute has not received a written response to its correspondence, and concerned by Karney’s press statement.
“We are still no clearer about whether restrictions will be applied to street preachers in Manchester and remain concerned about potential police action,” it said in a statement. “Councillor Karney has not provided any legal grounds for this crackdown, and runs the risk of legal action being taken if the free speech rights of street preachers are interfered with.”
The article reports several street preachers have been arrested in the UK in recent years over the content of their speech. Read full report