We have seen police overreach over the last 3 years but being arrested for praying was a new low in the UK. But that is what happened last year on a street in England in the 2nd biggest city of Birmingham.
Officers from West Midlands Police had approached Isabel Vaughan-Spruce last year and arrested her outside a closed abortion clinic for the crime of prayer. In December she was found not guilty. For what crime you may ask? For the crime of praying silently on the footpath or, for our American readers, the sidewalk. Has such an encroachment on civil liberties ever happened in the US. I doubt it.
Then in January of this year the exact same thing happened. The police arrested Isabel in Birmingham for the exact same “crime” she had been found innocent of. This will trigger lots of questions. Firstly, why was anyone arrested for doing something the courts had ruled was perfectly acceptable to do? After all it is not illegal to pray in the UK, at least not yet. Yet the police had decided, separate from any legal guidance they had received, that praying was illegal. It seems that the police in the UK have now gone rogue and can arrest anyone for any offence they so deem fit in their head. This is a very dangerous situation in the UK.
Sadly, the UK “conservative” government have passed into law a bill that makes it “illegal” to “harass or intimidate” anyone within 150 years of an abortion clinic. This is one of the strongest examples of the “conservative” government in the UK abandoning all conservative principles and embarking on socialist regime that makes it illegal to pray. The act of praying could be an offence inside ‘buffer zone’ regulations introduced last year. They make it illegal to intimidate or harass anyone within 150 metres of an abortion clinic. The British police have decided that prayer falls within this wording.
The police have said ‘there will be no further investigation’ into the February incident and have apologised to Ms Vaughan-Spruce, who is the director of anti-abortion group March for Life UK. But the fact that police can harass and intimidate any person praying on the streets of Britain is an abuse of their power and, surely, constitutes harassment on the part of the police.
Praying has never been illegal in Britain whether it is audible or silent. What will our so called Conservative government do about this intrusion on personal faith and freedoms? The police have said ‘there will be no further investigation’ into the February incident”. By incident they mean prayer!
So the British police regard prayer as incident they can investigate. They regard being outside an abortion clinic as breaking the law if the person is silently opposing the killing of babies inside. Is silent prayer now a criminal activity in the UK? Is prayer a criminal activity in the UK?
Sadly yes. A group of Democratic Unionist Party MP’s (a conservative party from Northern Ireland) tabled an amendment aimed at ensuring no offence is committed if a person is ‘engaged in consensual communication or in silent prayer’ outside the clinics or hospitals offering abortion services.But the proposal was rejected by 116 votes to 299, majority 183.Prayer in the UK is indeed illegal