'Things are getting very bad,' says American street preacher arrested in the UK

Ryan Schiavo, an American street preacher, is arrested by Metropolitan Police for asserting that homosexuality is a sin, July 22, 2021.(Photo: Ryan Schiavo)

An American street preacher has spoken of his concerns for the free speech of Christians in the UK following his recent arrest.

Ryan Schiavo was arrested on 22 July after preaching on the streets of Orpington, Kent, that homosexuality is a sin.

He told The Christian Post that his 30-minute message also touched upon "the damage the transgender agenda is doing to children right now in the schools because it's being pushed on children at a very young age here."

Other comments asserted that churches displaying rainbow flags were "not real churches".

He says that one listener was upset with his comments and called the police who detained him for supposedly being in violation of Section 4A of the Public Order Act, which makes it a crime to intentionally use "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or disorderly behaviour".

Following his arrest, Schiavo said "things are getting very bad" in the UK.

"It's time for the church to wake up and to be prepared for persecution," he said.

"Freedom of speech and expression are very much under attack in the Western world, and I'm concerned that many of these Western countries are becoming communist." 

There have been several arrests of street preachers across the UK in recent years.

In 2019, street preacher Pastor Oluwole Ilesanmi, 64, was awarded £2,500 in damages after police confiscated his Bible and drove him miles away from where he was arrested, leaving him without any ticket money to get home.

In April, 71-year-old street preacher John Sherwood was arrested after preaching about God's design for families from Genesis 1. He was released without charge.

Last month, London magistrates exonerated 31-year-old street preacher Joshua Sutcliffe, who was fined by police for street preaching on Good Friday during lockdown in 2020.