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Street Preacher Wins Settlement Over Free Speech

Mar 12, 2024


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British pastor Dia Moodley of Bristol, England, won the right to preach on city streets after being warned by local law enforcement not to criticize other religions or deliver sermons without their prior approval. 

It is unclear why Avon and Somerset Police turned on Moodley after he met with them to discuss instances of racial abuse against him, according to Christian Headlines. After the meeting, the police started watching his street preaching and eventually tried to ban him from “passing comments on any other religion or comparing them to Christianity” and from “passing comments on beliefs held by atheists or those who believe in evolution.” Eventually, law enforcement tried to stop him from delivering a “sermon or religious address at a time or place that has not had prior consent and approval of Avon & Somerset Constabulary.”

Again, there is no legal precedent for law enforcement to stop someone’s free speech in this manner, so Moodley challenged the department’s overreach. (LEARN MORE: United Nations, WHO, Use Pandemic Declaration To Push Abortions, Experts Claim)

Violation of Rights

Moodley, with legal support from ADF International and the Free Speech Union, alleged that the department violated his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, and was actively engaged in religious discrimination. (LEARN MORE: Supreme Court To Hear Ultimate Free Speech, Censorship Case)

Law enforcement settled the case, and Moodley returned to his service. “Dia Moodley’s case exposes a clear double standard in British policing when the issue concerns the expression of core beliefs; particularly Christian beliefs,” said legal counsel for ADF UK Jeremiah Igunnubole. “Bristol authorities unabashedly requested prior review of Dia’s sermons and banned him from speaking about any other religion — including atheism. This blatantly restricted his freedom of religion and speech in an attempt to redefine established British values in accordance with their own ideals.” (LEARN MORE: Biden Ignores Christian Massacres For 3rd Year In A Row)

Standing Up For His Rights

“It isn’t for the police to decide which religions or worldviews can be free from criticism,” he said. “When I preach, I am committed to speaking about the good news of Christianity in love, grace, and truth — but that doesn’t mean that I will never say something that others may disagree with. The nature of a free and democratic society is that we can speak publicly about our beliefs,” Moodley said of the win. (LEARN MORE: What NFL Stars Have To Say About Their Faith)

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