Cathedral That Once Burned Bibles Calls Cops on Bible-Reading Man

St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral (Loco Steve/Flickr/CC)

Nearly 500 years after the Bishop of London burned copies of William Tyndale's New Testament outside of St. Paul's Cathedral, the church is once again at the center of controversy for blocking the reading of scripture.

A man was apparently arrested outside St. Paul's after reading the Bible aloud in public. The street preacher insisted to a police officer that he was "not committing a crime" as the arrest took place.

A video shows a bearded man with an American-sounding accent asking a policeman why he is being told to move on when other people are standing there talking.

The police officer tells him, "I haven't got a problem with what you are doing, but staff here have asked you to move off of the property."

When the preacher protests, the police officer says, "Then I will arrest you for a breach of the peace."

The preacher replies, "You are going to have to do that... The Lord has asked me to read the Bible here. These people need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are not allowing them to hear."

Another video has surfaced from several months ago of a similar event showing police stopping a man publicly reading the Bible outside St. Paul's, with what appears to be a member of the cathedral management standing close behind the police officers. The man was reading from the "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew chapter 5.

A police officer called to remove the man says on the video, "I am of the opinion that this chap isn't causing any breach of the peace. This chap isn't impeding anyone. I am happy for him to stay here."

Then a member of the cathedral staff tells the officer, "The registrar and the dean and the chapter have given instructions to the head of security that at any time he shows up, he should be asked to leave, and we are just following those orders."

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