|Jamie Murray, the owner of a Christian café,|
was told he couldn't publicly display Bible verses.
(Photo: Christian Institute)
Jamie Murray, owner of the Christian café called Salt & Light, mutes the sound on a TV located in the back of the café while it displays the entire New Testament verse by verse.
Murray said police came to the café following a complaint regarding “insulting” and “homophobic” material. Murray contested the officers’ claim that his display was illegal. Police said their sergeant assured them that insulting words were a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
“I couldn’t believe the police were saying I can’t display the Bible. The officers were not very polite, in fact they were quite aggressive. It felt like an interrogation,” said Murray.
Murray agreed to stop displaying the verses on the screen until receiving legal advice. After talking with his lawyer, Murray again played the Scripture DVDs.
The Christian Institute reports that police have since come back to Murray with a partial apology. They admitted they got the law wrong and apologized with regards to their previous engagement with Murray.
The officers did not apologize for launching the investigation and they deny that they banned Murray from displaying the Bible texts. Murray says the police did indeed threaten that he could be arrested if he continued to display the texts. He says he forgives the police for the situation but will not allow the case to get swept away.
“Mr. Murray doesn’t want to see this happen to anyone else, so he intends to lodge an official complaint with the police,” said the Christian Institute’s Mike Judge.
Lancashire Police told the BBC: “It appears that the officer has misinterpreted the Public Order Act and we have apologised to the cafe owner for any distress we may have caused.”
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