UK

Christian street preacher, Oluwole Ilesanmi who had his Bible confiscated as he was handcuffed in Enfield, London, by MPS accused of Islamophobia awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest [#OluwoleIlesanmi #ChristianPreacher #MPS]

A Christian street preacher who had his Bible confiscated as he was handcuffed by police has been awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest.

A video of Oluwole Ilesanmi pleading with a police officer to “not take my Bible away” has been viewed millions of times since his arrest in February 2019.

Ilesanmi was detained outside Southgate tube station in Enfield, north London, by Metropolitan police officers after he was accused of Islamophobia by a passerby.

The Christian admitted describing Islam as an “aberration” but said he was simply expressing his opinion rather than preaching hate against Muslims.

Footage of the arrest showed Ilesanmi, 64, being told by an officer that he was “causing problems, disturbing people’s days” and that “no one wants to hear that. They want you to go away.”

The video shows a police officer snatching a Bible from Ilesanmi’s hand, as the preacher says: “No, no, no, no, no. Don’t take my Bible away.” One of the officers then says: “You should’ve thought about that before being racist.”

Ilesanmi was led away to a police car and driven 3 and a 1/2 miles away to a bus stop where he was de-arrested.

Ilesanmi said he had been awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest for his humiliating and distressing treatment.

“I believe God loves everyone, including Muslims, but I have the right to say I that I don’t agree with Islam – we are living in a Christian country, after all.

“I was upset when they took away my Bible. They just threw it in the police car. They would never have done that if it had been the Koran. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?”
– Oluwole Ilesanmi, Christian street preacher

Ilesanmi will on Tuesday, July 29, 2019 hand a petition to the Home Office asking for greater protection for street preachers. The campaign, which is being supported by the group Christian Concern, has been signed more than 38,000 times.

“The MPS has reached a settlement with a man arising from an incident on 23 February near to Southgate Underground station. It would not be appropriate to discuss further details of this.”
– A Scotland Yard spokewoman

“The Met respects and upholds the rights of all individuals to practice freedom of speech, and this includes street preachers of all religions and backgrounds.

“However, if the language someone uses is perceived as being a potential hate crime, it is only right that we investigate.

“That is the role of the police, even if a decision is subsequently made that their actions are not criminal. In this case, it was deemed appropriate to remove the man from the area.”
– Supt Neil Billany, of the force

Christian preacher accused of racism gets wrongful arrest payout
The Guardian

CORRECTION: Couple, Lee and Lizanne Harris taking Church of England to court over Christian school assemblies at Burford Primary School, Burford, in Oxfordshire, UK [#ChurchOfEngland #ChristianSchool #BurfordPrimarySchool]

A couple are taking the Church of England to court over Christian school assemblies which they say are “indoctrinating” their children.

Lee and Lizanne Harris have been granted a judicial review in their challenge to the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, which runs Burford Primary School, Burford, Oxfordshire, UK.

They said the school should provide an “inclusive” alternative.

The trust said the school had “acted entirely appropriately”.

According to Trust chief executive Anne Davey, “It has provided exactly what the law requires, which includes provision for children to be withdrawn if parents so request.”

The couple said they had asked the school to provide “a meaningful alternative of equal educational worth” after withdrawing their children from assemblies.

Oxfordshire parents’ court challenge over Christian assemblies:
BBC News

Parents launch court action over Christian school assemblies:
The Guardian

Only 38% Brit respondents identify as Christian, far cry from 66% in 1998 survey by National Centre for Social Research

The proportion of Brits who identify as Christian has hit its lowest point in over 3 decades of polling, as more than half of respondents said they no longer affiliate with a religion.

The National Centre for Social Research, which claims to be Britain’s largest independent social research agency, released its 36th annual British Social Attitudes report based on a survey of 3,879 people.

The report confirmed the continued trend seen in the UK and the USA of people not affiliating with any religion as 52% of respondents to the survey said they do not belong to any religion.

“Of these, most were simply not brought up with a religion, with a smaller minority having lost a childhood faith. Those who do not regard themselves as belonging to a religion are increasingly secular, that is, likely to say they are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ unreligious.”
– 36th annual British Social Attitudes report

The study finds that only 38% of the respondents identify as Christian, a far cry from the 66% of respondents in the organization’s 1998 survey who identified as Christian and a 2-percentage-point drop from 2017.

Only 38% of Brits identify as Christian; lowest proportion in poll’s history:
Christian Post

A school has sacked a Christian member of staff after she posted online protests against transgender teaching at her son’s primary.

Kristie Higgs, 43, was a pastoral assistant at a Gloucestershire academy but a disciplinary panel there decided that she had used language which demeaned its gay, lesbian and transgender pupils.

The mother-of-two, who had worked at the secondary school for 6 years with an unblemished record, posted objections on her personal Facebook page to the use of two children’s books at her son’s Church of England primary.

She also invited her Facebook followers to sign a petition against compulsory sex education in primary schools, which is to be introduced next year.

Mrs Higgs’ sacking from Farmor’s School, in Fairford, Gloucestershire, came after a sole anonymous email complaint which accused her of ‘posting homophobic and prejudiced views’.

A disciplinary panel found she was guilty of gross misconduct because there was ‘potential’ for the school’s reputation to be harmed, though the panel admitted ‘there was no actual evidence’ that this had happened.

Devoutly Christian secondary school assistant, 43, is sacked after posting petition against transgender issues being taught at her son’s CofE primary:
Daily Mail

The Coalition for Marriage has accused the UK Government of sidelining parents over what their children learn about marriage and relationships in school.

Education secretary Damian Patrick George Hinds said today that new mandatory relationship and sex education (RSE) classes coming to schools in 2020 would equip children for life in the ‘complex’ modern world and teach them how to stay safe online.

But changes to the way RSE is taught are being challenged because they include new restrictions on when and how children can be opt outed out by their parents.

Although parents are free to withdraw their children from sex education lessons at the primary school level, certain conditions come into effect for secondary school students.

However, there is no right to withdraw children at primary or secondary school age from relationship education lessons, which will cover gay and transgender issues.

According to Colin Hart, chairman of the Coalition for Marriage, the lessons were ‘not age-appropriate’.

‘No one objects to the Government trying to make children safer online by teaching them about internet trolls and about the dangers of social media, however, the plan to downgrade marriage – and sideline parents whilst doing it – is completely unacceptable. The Department for Education is sidelining traditional marriage, the most stable form of relationship for raising children and forcing them to learn about every other form of relationship under the sun, even when it is not age-appropriate. The law should encourage traditional marriage, not undermine it.’
– Colin Hart, chairman of the Coalition for Marriage

Damian Patrick George Hinds is a British Conservative Party politician who is the Education Secretary and Member of Parliament (MP) for East Hampshire. He was promoted to Secretary of State for Education on January 8, 2018.

Christian campaigners accuse Government of downgrading marriage and sidelining parents:
Christianity Today

Damian Hinds
Wikipedia