ICC Note: Authorities in the United Kingdom have taken their case against street preacher Mike Overd to a new level by charging him with “religious aggravation” for drawing comparisons between Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad. Police had earlier publicly encouraged residents to film Mr. Overd in an attempt to catch him making offensive statements. Two other street preachers, one an American citizen, have been detained by British police in recent years.
10/6/2014 United Kingdom (Charisma) – Street evangelist Mike Overd, a client of the Christian Legal Centre, is being prosecuted in the United Kingdom for an alleged religious aggravation public order offense.
The charges follow a complaint to police in Taunton, that Overd made a comparison between the perfect life of Jesus and the life of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.
Police have informed the former paratrooper that the Crown Prosecution Service wishes to bring three charges against him under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
A Taunton police sergeant recently gave an interview to BBC television and a newspaper locally, urging residents to film the evangelist’s preaching as it was alleged that Overd’s preaching was “causing offense.”
The officer has also asked local traders to film Overd if they believed he was preaching “offensively.
Overd insists that when he made a comparison between the perfect life of Jesus and the life led by Muhammad, he did not speak in a hateful way.
“It was a simple comparison and it was factual. Muhammad did marry a 9-year-old girl. I have no hatred of Muslims in me at all and only preach the truth of the gospel. Recently a Muslim man came to my defense when I was preaching and a local shopkeeper started to shout at me.