Jun 29, 2017

Michael Overd, the Christian street preacher who was found guilty of public order offenses for saying “Jesus is the only way to God,” said in an appeals court Wednesday that he’s not a hate preacher, and he loves Muslims and gay people.


(Photo: Facebook/Mike Overd)Mike Overd, a street evangelist and client of the British group Christian Legal Centre in the U.K. (seen in this undated photo), has been charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act with “causing offense” for public remarks where he drew a comparison between Jesus Christ and Muhammad, September 2014.

The Bristol Post reported that Overd, along with another Christian preacher, Michael Stockwell, were convicted earlier this year of religiously aggravated public disorder after they read from the King James Bible before a crowd of 100 people last year, stating that Muslims are going to Hell.

After witnesses accused the preachers’ messages of being “anti-Muslim” and “anti-gay,” Overt told the Bristol Crown Court that he has “never hated anyone.”

“If we truly love the Muslims we must bring the truth,” he said. “Jesus said any prophet who comes in any other way is a liar and a thief. The Bible and Quran are fundamentally different,” Overd declared.

He insisted that he has Muslim friends who he “loves to bits,” and that he loves gay people, though he disagrees with them and believes they are “lost.”

“They are not worse than anyone else,” the preacher insisted.

Prosecutor Ian Jackson said back in February that the preachers cannot proclaim that what they believe is true.

“To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth,” Jackson said at the time.

Though some witnesses said that the crowd gathered around the preachers grew agitated, and accused Overd of having “gone over the top” and having “wound up people,” the preacher insisted that many were listening calmly to what they had to say.

“Some of the crowd were very supportive. I’d say five or six thanked us that day. One Christian man was very upset about the abuse that was coming toward us. I didn’t use any abusive words. I was not being disorderly. I was absolutely not intending to abuse anybody,” Overd argued in court.

He also said that

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