Oluwole Ilesanmi, the Nigerian man who was arrested in London for simply preaching the Gospel, has spoken out following his release. “Olu” was simply quoting Scripture and preaching the good news of Jesus to anyone who would listen when, on Feb. 23, he was accosted by two police officers and arrested for “breaching the peace.”
The Metropolitan police told Faithwire that, after it became clear that Olu had done nothing wrong, he was subsequently “de-arrested” and no charges were filed. Wednesday, it was announced that an investigation had been launched into the shocking incident.
“I was the one arrested,” Olu said in a video produced by UK anti-persecution watchdog, Christian Concern.
“The police came on the scene and yanked me away,” he continued. “I was taken out of the vicinity into a very remote place, thinking I would not even be able to get back.”
Despite having no money and being left by the police in an unfamiliar neighborhood, Olu said that “God raised for me people in the streets that could be of assistance.”
After finding his way back to Southgate Tube Station in North London, Olu said he “started preaching again the word of God.”
The video of Olu’s arrest sparked outrage across the globe, with many sending in messages of support for the bold preacher.
“My appreciation goes to everybody all over the world,” Olu said.
“I am well, I am OK,” he added. “No evil, as the Word has said, will come near my dwelling. God has been so faithful.”
“I thank you all for what you have done for me,” he concluded.
The Christian Legal Center, which is part of Christian Concern and advocates on behalf of those persecuted for their faith, told Faithwire that, in light of Olu’s shocking case, it would be lobbying the UK government for the granting of more protections to those who are preaching in the public square.
“We will shortly be launching a petition to the government calling for greater protection for Christian street preachers in the UK from the police,” a spokesperson told Faithwire.
What Does the Petition Say?
Addressed to the British Home Secretary, the petition urges that “Christian street preachers should be free to share the gospel, even where it means challenging the beliefs of others.”
It continues: “The law rightly protects freedom of speech, even if it offends, shocks or disturbs others. But too often, police officers have shown themselves either to be ignorant of this freedom, or unwilling to uphold it. This leads to a chilling effect, where people are increasingly unwilling to say what they believe, for fear of arrest.”
The petition concludes: “Please urgently investigate what guidance and training is being given to police officers nationwide to ensure that they protect the freedom to preach in public.”
You can sign the petition here.
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