A UK Christian street preacher who was accused by Muslims of Hate Speech has won the battle in court and got his conviction overturned. Earlier the preacher was accused by Muslims for spreading hate through his public speeches at various events and he was convicted by Lincoln Magistrates Court In London in September this year.
According to lifesitenews Daniel Courney, 33, was convicted by Lincoln Magistrates Court in September of using “threatening and discriminatory language” while preaching in Lincoln in June.
Courney, an American missionary who served in the United States military and has been a missionary in Nepal and India for 8 years, preached a message of repentance and of the need to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved.
A Muslim woman and her family who heard Courney’s message on the street claimed the preacher singled them out and called them “ISIS” and told them to “go back to your country.” The Muslims reported the matter to police who arrested the preacher.
Courney denied the allegations. Despite this, however, he was charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act with using “threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.”
The Lawyer who was defending the preacher argued During the appeal, the Christian Legal Centre’s solicitor Michael Phillips argued that English law provides Courney with the freedom to preach Christianity, and that this has been successfully upheld for many years.
The Crown Court judge agreed and overturned the conviction.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said the case demonstrates how police do not understand free speech laws.
“We are proud to represent street preachers in our country as they share the love of Jesus Christ with people on the street. This case once again highlights the need for police operating in these situations to understand how the law protects free speech,” she said.
After his conviction was overturned, Courney said that he had come to the United Kingdom to “bring back the message of Jesus Christ.”
“The message is a simple one: repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and do not follow false religions. Unfortunately, I’ve had to travel to and from the United Kingdom four times in the past three months. I have had other restrictions on my liberty during that time. I have been held in police custody and accused of being a hate preacher,” he said.
“At all times I simply wanted to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he added.