Pastor threatened for sharing his view on homosexuality is told by police he should not offend the LGBT community
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A British pastor who received threats of violence from LGBT supporters, including a threat to burn down his church, was recently told by local police that he could be breaking the law by expressing his view of homosexuality on social media, CBN News reported on September 8. Pastor Josh Williamson of Newquay Baptist Church in Cornwall, southern England, was advised by police that he should keep his views to a “safe environment” and not offend the LGBT community.
According to UK religious freedom group Christian Concern, Williamson began to receive threats when he commented “Wonderful news!” in response to a local news Facebook announcement that the annual Cornwall Pride event would be canceled. Williamson went on to share the news on his own Facebook page, with the comment: “Hallelujah!! We prayed at our prayer meeting on Tuesday night that this event would be canceled. We also prayed that the Lord would save the organizers. One prayer answered, now we wait for the second prayer to be answered.”
The Cornwall Pride LGBT group responded by encouraging their supporters to report Williamson to the police for the crime of hate speech. Activists then began threatening to have Williamson deported back to his native Australia and to have his church charity status revoked. Activists also protested outside his church during Sunday services. One particular LGBT group said the Newquay Baptist Church, which is also used to house people, should be burnt down. Agreeing with this statement, another commentator responded by writing: “LETS BURN A CHURCH! LETS BURN A CHURCH,” CBN News reports.
When he reported the threats to Devon and Cornwall Police, Williamson was reportedly told it was unlikely anyone would act on the threats and that the situation was “complex.” Officers said they were working with both sides to manage the situation. In a statement on the matter, Williamson said: “The police have not formally spoken to me about any hate crime or sought a witness statement to look at the various online comments which have included threats to burn down our church.
In sharing his view that homosexuality is a Biblical sin, Williamson has reached out to the LGBT community: “As Christians, we seek to speak the truth in love and would readily welcome all people to our services,” Williamson said in his statement.