Christian street preacher arrested again in Scotland

Published 27 September 2013  |  

Image taken from a recording of Josh Williamson's arrest

A church minister in Scotland has been arrested for the second time in a week while street preaching.

The Reverend Josh Williamson was arrested last week for "breach of the peace" and again on Saturday in relation to the same charge.

Both arrests occurred while he was preaching on Perth High Street.

After his arrest on Saturday, he was to be held in custody until Monday but was instead released at 9.30pm on Saturday evening after being held for over five hours in the cells.

Mr Williamson said that although he had been released, he was unsure as to whether this was the end of police action against him.

"It is hard to tell you what is going to happen as we don't know," he told ChristianToday.com.

"At this stage I have been released while the police assess if they will charge me at a later date. I just have to wait to see what happens.

"God-willing I will preach again in the Perth High Street."

The arresting police officer told Mr Williamson that he was being charged because of a complaint about the volume at which he was preaching.

Mr Williamson commented: "In relation to the sound, I have asked numerous times what an acceptable sound level is.

"Each time I get told a different thing. It seems that 'noise' is subjective, and the person complaining determines if something is too loud or not."

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Mr Williamson, said the arrest of street preachers was happening "with alarming regularity".

"There is no law against what Rev Williamson was doing and he has now been wrongly arrested twice," she said.

"It's time for the police to sort this out. Officers are routinely misapplying the law and needlessly arresting people who are sharing a message of good news.

"Freedom of speech is a fundamental freedom that is crucial to a thriving democracy. This arrest, along with other recent arrests, shows that this freedom is being eroded more quickly than many people realise.

"It is also deeply ironic that Rev Williamson was arrested for 'breach of the peace' whilst speaking the ultimate message of peace."

Mr Williamson's arrest was filmed and is available to view here:

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