American street preacher arrested at LGBT Pride in Canterbury
Ryan Schiavo, who was arrested for preaching in Canterbury, England, during an LGBT event, is calling on Christians “not to back down and bow before” the LGBT movement.
The street preacher went to Canterbury to evangelize with a friend and said he had been unaware of the LGBT pride event. Whilst sharing Romans 1:18-32 on the street, discussing “God judging society because of wickedness” and “sexual immorality and homosexual behaviour” a crowd started to form around him.
Schiavo told reporters that “There was a band performing somewhere with what appeared to be LGBT singers, and musicians and it was very much in your face. There were two hecklers in particular that were making it really difficult for me, one was a guy and one was a girl. The guy, in particular, started following me around and literally circling me, following and screaming and cursing so that people could not hear me. I saw two security guards who were actually set up and positioned before I even said a word. I saw them in the distance because they saw me with my Bible and speaker. It was almost like they were just prepared, waiting for me to say something because it was a pride event. And so, when the police came, three officers came to me at separate times. One of the officers was quite aggressive, unhappy, demanding, trying to incriminate me with the questions that he was asking and wanted to know exactly what I said”.
The officer asked Schiavo if he said anything that “may have caused people to be offended” and expressed sympathy with the LGBT activists by asking “Can’t you let them have their day?”
Schiavo was arrested for breaching a “hate-related public order” and detained overnight. Officers also confiscated his Bible, microphone, speaker and Gospel tracts, claiming that these are evidence that’s part of the investigation. However, prison officers gave him a Bible to read whilst being held in jail.
Video footage proves that when the preacher’s friend requested that the officers provide a reason for the arrest, one of them accused Schiavo of violating a “hate-related public order” law that barres “discrimination”. When the police released him, they kept his confiscated personal items. The condition of his release was that he should abstain from returning to the city of Canterbury for 90 days or attending Pride events for the rest of June.
Schiavo says that in the last four years he has been stopped by police around 25 times while street preaching in the UK. “It’s very important right now for Christians not to back down and bow before this agenda. We are seeing the early signs of communism, cultural Marxism and the destruction of our freedoms. We are not living in a fair and impartial society in America or in the United Kingdom. And the last line of defence is not the political realm, it’s not the conservative media. It is the Church of Jesus Christ. And Christians have to be willing to suffer even if it means they lose their job, they lose friends, family doesn’t understand them or even if they are put in jail or beaten up or killed, etc. Because ultimately, our first responsibility is to the Lord Jesus and to the truth, not to our own satisfaction and comforts”.