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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

Life.Church, megachurch and Oklahoma Christian School, private Christian school agree to property swap in Edmond, Oklahoma [#LifeChurch #OklahomaChristianSchool #Edmond]

A megachurch and private Christian school have co-existed for years near the corner of Interstate 35 and Second Street in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Life.Church and Oklahoma Christian School recently agreed to a property swap of sorts, with their longstanding relationship as neighbors providing an amicable foundation for negotiations.

The recent real estate agreement between the two will allow Oklahoma Christian School to start a $17 million project to build a 72,000-square-foot elementary school and Life.Church to expand its headquarters.

Life.Church, Oklahoma Christian School agree to property deal:
Oklahoman.com

Polish archaeologists have discovered a 4th Century church in Egypt, which they say could be one of the oldest known Christian temples in Egypt.

What is left of the church was discovered in the ancient port of Marea, near the city of Alexandria.

A team from the University of Warsaw’s Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology has been conducting research since 2000, including digging and conservation work.

The team’s most interesting findings in Marea so far include a basilica, a burial chapel and the largest collections of ceramic fragments (“ostraca” to archaeologists) discovered in Egypt.

In the basilica, which operated from the 5th to the 8th Century, the archaeologists discovered remnants from ever further back in time.

“At the end of the last research season, under the floor of the basilica, we encountered a wall’s remains, which turned out to be the outer walls of an even older church. This is one of the oldest Christian temples discovered in Egypt so far.”
– Dr Krzysztof Babraj of the Museum of Archaeology in Kraków, who led research on the basilica.

The older church is underneath the basilica, which was destroyed by an earthquake.

The form of its limestone walls, along with ceramic and glass fragments found inside the ruins, indicate that the church dates back to the mid-4th Century.

Measuring 24 by 15 metres, the church was decorated with polychromes, little of which has survived.

The archaeologists are collecting what is left of them, scattered in thousands of fragments.

“Our discovery is also important because we basically don’t know any remnants of churches from the neighbouring metropolis, Alexandria. Now we know how they could look, which is why it is so important to continue our research that we have just begun in the old church.”
– Dr Krzysztof Babraj explaining the discovery’s significance.

One of Egypt’s oldest churches dating back to the 4th century found hidden behind ancient basilica wall:
The First News

Suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed and killed a 26-year-old Catholic on Thursday, May 2, 2019 in north-central Nigeria and two other Christians in the same manner on April 27, 2019.

After a herdsmen assault in March 2018 that left 27 Christians dead in the predominantly Christian community of Dong village north of Jos in Nigeria, assailants on Thursday, May 2, 2019 killed David Musa, 26, at 5:25 p.m., said Nuhu Ako, 42-year-old Christian youth leader at the area’s St. Monica’s Catholic Church.

“We heard the sound of gunshots around the stream west of Dong village…We rushed there to find out what happened and found again the killing of a member of our community.”
– Nuhu Ako

Three Christians Killed in Ambush Attacks near Jos, Nigeria
Morning Star News

Phil Heller announced as new lead pastor of Crossroads Christian Church, one of Tri-State’s largest congregations with campuses in Newburgh and on Evansville’s West Side in Indiana [#PhilHeller #Crossroads #Indiana]

Phil Heller has been announced as the new lead pastor of Crossroads Christian Church, one of the Tri-State’s largest congregations with campuses in Newburgh and on Evansville’s West Side in Indiana.

Heller’s hire was recommended by the search team to Crossroads Christian Church elders. Elders unanimously accepted the recommendation.

Heller was on the staff of Crossroads from 1996 to 2002 as student ministries pastor and high school pastor.

He was executive pastor for 13 years at White River Christian Church in Noblesville, Indiana, where he was responsible for providing direction for executing the church’s vision, mission and strategy and developing leadership among the staff and congregation, according to a release from Crossroads.

Heller has a bachelor’s in specialized ministries from Kentucky Christian University and is near to completing his masters in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University.

“I am excited about rejoining the tri-state community. And I look forward to pursuing the collective vision among Evansville area church leaders to see the Tri-State be a place where everyone flourishes.”
– Phil Heller

Crossroads Christian Church announces new lead pastor
Evansville Courier & Press