News from Europe

Police officer tells Christian singer she is not allowed to sing religious songs

Twenty year-old gospel singer Harmonie London, regularly sings church songs on Oxford Street and has more than 300,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Harmonie was performing in a council-regulated zone for busking and street entertainment. Even though there are no laws against singing on pavements, the volunteer officer approached and told her: “No miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way.” She was insistent that Harmonie was not permitted to sing worship songs “outside of church grounds unless the church has authorised you to do these kind of songs”.

When the officer finally decided to leave, she stuck her tongue out to Harmonie’s camera. 

The incident, which was recorded and uploaded to her YouTube channel, breached Article 9 of the Human Rights Act, which protects freedom of religion. The video, which is titled ‘Unpaid Volunteer Officer Doesn’t Like Gospel Songs’, has sparked a backlash online.

Former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe, who is also a devoted Christian, said, “The officer should be struck off from the voluntary force. She really got the law completely wrong, and she was obviously enjoying herself too much, trying to boss this woman around. And there is no basis at all for saying you can’t sing. I could walk down the street singing Onward Christian Soldiers, and I would be committing no offence at all.”

Former police officer and anti-crime campaigner Norman Brennan tweeted: “Folks, this is not looking good.  Some of us are trying hard to help policing get back public lost support, respect, and confidence, and this does not help.”



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