Prayer Is Becoming Criminal In The U.K.
We must vigilantly defend the right of all to pray, think, and act in accordance with our consciences — to peacefully pray when and where we choose.
Prayer, even silent prayer, could be a prosecutable offense in the United Kingdom, thanks to recent developments. Catholic priest Father Sean Gough from Birmingham, England, finds himself in the midst of a legal battle for allegedly violating a censorship zone banning prayer on public streets around an abortion facility. This marks the latest in a string of thought crime cases rocking fundamental freedoms in the U.K.
First came Isabel Vaughan-Spruce. The video of her arrest went viral, showing this pro-life volunteer worker interrogated and searched by Birmingham police in response to the mere act of praying in the privacy of her mind. For nothing more than silent prayer, Isabel was criminally charged for “intimidation,” despite the fact that the abortion facility was closed at the time she was praying.
International outrage ensued. Could this really be happening in the U.K., the birthplace of the Magna Carta and so many of the foundational freedoms we enjoy in the West?
Next, came army veteran Adam Smith-Connor. Similar to Isabel, Adam was fined for allegedly violating a censorship zone surrounding an abortion facility in Bournemouth, England, by way of silent prayer. He was praying for his son, lost to abortion years ago. Adam was not there to protest and ardently opposes the harassment of women in any form. He made sure to pray with his back to the facility to make this clear.
Regardless, local “community safety accredited officers” deemed his thoughts problematic and fined him, and he is currently pursuing a legal challenge to defend the fundamental right to pray and think in accordance with his conscience.
One of our country’s most important freedoms is that of free speech.
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