The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.

Police receive writ on eve of Mardi Gras

Immediate 9.00 hrs 1st September 2007

The Chief Constable of South Wales Police has been served with a High Court writ on the eve of this year's homosexual 'Mardi Gras' in Cardiff, just as evangelists are gearing up for another witness and outreach at the event.

The writ seeks to establish that the police may not use the provisions of statute law, in particular of the Public Order Act 1986, to curtail freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression.

It comes exactly a year after Christian evangelist Stephen Green was arrested under Section 5 of the Act by the Force's 'Minority Support Group' and charged with using 'threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour' causing 'harassment alarm or distress' just for peacefully and quietly handing out evangelistic leaflets. All charges were later dropped by an embarrassed Crown Prosecution Service, and Green has said he will bring a County Court action against South Wales Police for wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Stephen Green, who is National Director of the prayer and lobby group Christian Voice, said this morning:

'I cannot believe that the police would be so oppressive or stupid as to arrest any of the team today, but we shall see.

'All we intend doing is handing out a very similar leaflet to last year's, showing that the Bible is opposed to homosexuality, that it is not the unforgivable sin, and that everyone can and should find forgiveness and healing in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a standard Gospel message and impossible for the police to object to. I also hope that evangelists will go into the event itself - which is in a public park and is an open forum - to share the good news of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Cardiff Mardi Gras website claims to welcome 'all people without judgment or prejudice' so that must include us!

'The only trouble is, South Wales Police set up a special section, the 'Minorities Support Unit', which is dedicated to supporting homosexuals against anyone who might ruffle their feathers. I think Inspector Chadd, who heads it up, got a bit carried away with an inflated sense of his own importance last year.

'Of course if the police can use an Act of Parliament brought in to deal with football-related violence against entirely peaceful Christian evangelists then we are heading down the road to a police state, with all the repressive attitudes that implies. 'So the purpose of our High Court action is to establish the principle that freedom of speech and freedom to express religious beliefs are not negotiable and may not be taken away on the whim of partisan police officers.

'At the end of the day, we pray that the Gospel will go out in power and that sinners will repent and find salvation in the only name under heaven by which we can be saved, that of the Lord Jesus Christ. And of course we pray for the day when the abomination and disgrace of a homosexual event is never seen in our capital city again.'

Link to the text of the leaflet given out at Cardiff Mardi Gras.