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Christians Prosecuted For Reading Bible In Public

03/30/2012 United States (Charisma News) - Taking the concept of culture wars to new heights, two Christians were arrested in front of a California DMV for reading the Bible—and prosecuted.

Pastor Brett Coronado and Mark Mackey were charged with a misdemeanor. Mackey was reading the Bible aloud on Feb. 2, 2011, in front of a group waiting for the DMV to open for business.

...

When Mackey was arrested, police stated it was illegal to “preach to a captive audience.” The defendants were jailed, but later learned that no such penal code prohibits preaching to a “captive audience.”

The officer issued a citation for “impeding an open business” with threats or intimidation under Penal Code Section 602.1(b). However, the district attorney again changed the charges claiming trespass after the government realized the business was not actually open and, presumably, saw the video showing no threats or intimidation.

The trial judge declined to dismiss the case. Advocates [Advocates for Faith & Freedom, the defense) vows to appeal the decision because the trespass law authorities are relying on is unconstitutional. In fact, other federal courts that have reviewed the same statutory language used in the California Penal Code have been declared unconstitutional.

“This is an abuse of power on the part of the CHP,” said Robert Tyler, associate general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom. “The arresting officer could find no appropriate penal/ code to use when arresting these men. The purpose of the arrests appears to have been to censor them.”

Advocates for Faith & Freedom has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of these three men for violation of their right to free speech and for unlawful arrest, but that case has been stayed pending the resolution of the state court prosecution.

 

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  • Anonymous

    This is so preposterous that the local law enforcement actually took part in this. What if we round up a few thousand believers and do it again, make them arrest all of us and bring the national spotlight on to it. I have preached and spoken in the public square for years in California and never seen this type of oppressive power or tyranny against believers and followers of Jesus Christ. We also would wait for the perfunctory call from the president in his support fo or freedom we have had since we became a country to openly worship Christ. Well, on second thought, it is not about gay rights, racism, abortion, the so call activist supreme court, forced insurance coverage by religious institutions for contraception or even a woman's right to be members of the private Augusta National links club. So the phone may never ring unfortunately.

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