Nine evangelists from Germany were arrested Saturday in the Spanish city of Valencia after they allegedly caused panic on a subway train by shouting phrases like "we will all burn in Hell."
The La Vanguardia newspaper reported that the nine men, who are all German citizens, were taken to court on Sunday and left in custody with a set bail of roughly $13,900.
The Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community said that the nine men are being investigated for the crime of public disorder, as their speech led to a stampede in which a young woman was slightly injured.
RT added that the woman injured her leg as people pushed into each other trying to leave the station. People were reportedly concerned that the preachers, who carried a large cross and backpacks, were a threat.
Videos of the incident were uploaded on YouTube. Witnesses said the evangelists shouted phrases such as "we are sinners," "we are going to die" or "we will burn in Hell," and accused passengers of being "full of alcohol, drugs and sin."
The commotion stirred among the passengers forced the subway conductor to stop the train. Police officers said that the nine Germans, all aged between 19 to 37, refused to leave the convoy at the request of security guards, after which they were arrested.
It was not made clear to which specific church, if any, the men belong to.
Despite the general decline in religious belief, there has been a rise in evangelical places of worship in Spain, the semiannual report of the Observatory of Religious Pluralism noted earlier this year.
It found that there are 4,045 evangelical places of worship throughout the country, which is the highest number reported since records have been kept.
"A church-and-a-half is being planted in Spain every week, six churches a month, that is, 82 churches a year. The figures keep growing thanks to initiatives of church planting that are being carried out by churches and denominations," Máximo Álvarez, head of In Depth Evangelism in Spain, said earlier this year.
Álvarez added that the growth trend is "not only sustained, but on the rise" in the nation, which used to be heavily Roman Catholic.
The growth has come despite the continued economic crisis in Spain, and despite obstacles when it comes to obtaining construction permits that many congregations have faced.
A YouTube video of the incident can be seen below:
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