A Christian street preacher in the United Kingdom was referred to the UK’s counter-terrorism police after he remarked that a “transwoman” was really “a man in woman’s clothing.”
The incident, which occurred a year ago, has already resulted in a conviction of harassment in a British court of law, with a sentencing of 12 months of community service with 80 hours of unpaid work.
According to Breitbart News, David McConnell was preaching at the time of the remarks, which also resulted in the preacher being abused, assaulted, and some of his belongings stolen before he was arrested by British law enforcement for his outward religious beliefs.
The Daily Mail has since reported that the preacher was also reported to the UK’s Prevent counter-terrorism program over his views, which were deemed to be sufficiently radical for them to be contacted.
“What has happened to me has been Orwellian and really alarming,” McConnell said. “When I was told I had been reported to counter-terrorism I just thought: ‘What has happened to this country?’”
The street preacher was immediately concerned when he saw the police station was flying an LGBTQ flag.
“My role as a Christian preacher is to speak truth and to communicate what the Bible says on a range of issues without compromise,” McConnell explained. “I believe what the Bible says about how we are born male and female. I am not aware of any law that says I must use someone’s preferred identity that is clearly contrary to their biological reality.”
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According to McConnell’s probation officer, the preacher was “viewed to be persistently and illegally espousing an extreme point of view” with his preaching, prompting the government official to “routinely” liaise with counter-terrorism police.
Christians across the UK have decided to speak out on the judge’s decision to convict the preacher for his beliefs.
“This case represents a disturbing trend in our society which is seeing members of the public and professionals being prosecuted and reported as potential terrorists for refusing to celebrate and approve LGBTQ ideology,” Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, reportedly said regarding the case.
“The Bible teaches clearly that we are born male and female; this belief and the freedom to express it in public without fear of being arrested or reported as a terrorist to Prevent must be protected,” she went on to say.
With representation from the Christian Legal Centre, McConnell is appealing his conviction.
SMG’s Caleb Parke contributed to this report.