Christian minister questions ouster from U.K. prison job: 'I simply said what the Bible says'

Rev. Barry Trayhorn has filed a claim with an employment tribunal.(Facebook /Rev. Barry Trayhorn)

For sharing God's Word to inmates, a Christian minister was forced to resign from his job in HM Prison Littlehey in Cambridgeshire, England.

Pentecostal Minister Rev. Barry Trayhorn said he could not understand the reason behind the decision taken by prison authorities to relieve him of his job after he preached the Bible to a group of convicted sex offenders at a worship service.

"Prisoners need to hear God's word just as much as anyone else. If people come to a Christian chapel service, we cannot hold back the gospel truth that God forgives those who repent," he said.

"As I led the worship, I spoke about the wonder of God's love and the forgiveness that comes through Jesus Christ to those who recognise their sin and repent. I said that I am the worst sinner I know."

"But that wasn't politically correct. The mere mention of homosexual behavior in the Bible verses that I quoted provoked the complaint," he said. "I was barred from taking part in chapel services and trouble came my way. I was put under enormous pressure for daring to say what the Bible says."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the centre, said, "It is astonishing that Barry was forced out of a sex offenders' prison for repeating what the Bible says about sexual behavior—during a chapel service—as he spoke about repentance and forgiveness. This is an important case. Freedom to maintain a clear gospel witness in prisons needs to be protected."

She said "no one should be denied an opportunity to hear what God has to say about the way to restoration, least of all those in prison for sexual offenses."

At the worship service held in May 2014, Trayhorn spoke about the wonder of God's forgiveness for those who repent even as he quoted 1 Cor. 6:9-11, which is about sins including adultery, homosexual practices, greed and drunkenness.

Trayhorn started working as a gardener at the HM Prison Littlehey in May 2011 and volunteered with chapel services at the sex offender's prison, according to Charisma News.

He signed off work in August last year due to stress-related illness. In November last year, he resigned as a gardener, saying he was harassed due to his Christian faith. He vowed never to return to work because of the way he was allegedly mistreated by prison authorities.

He then received a final written warning, prompting him to resign his prison job.

Trayhorn said his involvement in chapel services triggered a hostile response from prison officials. A hearing was set on Nov. 4 and will continue until Nov. 10.

Trayhorn is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre and will be represented by Standing Counsel Paul Diamond.