A Canadian Christian street preacher and nondenominational ministry leader was reportedly arrested and detained for over 20 hours in the United Kingdom last week after he was accused of making homophobic comments.
Preacher David Lynn was released from the Fresh Wharf Custody Base in East London last Wednesday without charge after he was detained a day earlier because of accusations that he called a lesbian woman "perverse" and "sinful" while preaching at a train station in Barking.
Lynn, who pastors at a church in Toronto, Canada, and has preached in the streets for 22 years, leads an organization called Christ's Forgiveness Ministries with churches in Canada, the United States and the U.K.
According to the Christian organization that provided the legal representation to Lynn, he began preaching at the Barking station around 3:30 p.m. last Tuesday, where he was joined by a group of supporters.
After a woman complained to police about Lynn's alleged comments, he was arrested and taken to the station without having a chance to defend himself or explain his side of the story.
Lynn was held for nearly a day and was interviewed about the incident. He has outright denied the allegations.
According to the Christian Legal Centre, video footage of the alleged incident doesn't substantiate the allegations against Lynn.
The law firm also asserts that interviewing police officers had admitted that it was wrong to arrest Lynn.
"What happened on Tuesday shocked me," Lynn said in a statement. "I am grateful to the Christian Legal Centre for responding immediately to my arrest and helping me avoid being charged."
Lynn assured that his vision is simply "to bring the life changing message of Jesus Christ's love and forgiveness to the world through evangelism."
"I am passionate about igniting and uniting the global body of Christ for the evangelistic mandate, and I want to bring the message of salvation to the entire world, keeping the focus on Christ and spreading God's love and forgiveness found in Jesus," he added.
Christian Legal Centre CEO Andrea Williams said in a statement after Lynn's release that Lynn's case is another example of how police in the U.K. are too quick to act when trying to curtail the free speech rights of street preachers.
"We are delighted that he has not been charged for sharing the good news of Jesus, and we remain committed to providing expert legal support, free of charge, where street preachers face trouble with the police," Williams explained.
Last year, two other Christian street preachers were initially fined and convicted of religiously aggravated public disorder after they were accused of telling a crowd in 2016 that "Jesus is the only way to God," "Allah does not exist," and "all Muslims will burn in Hell."
However, the two preachers were successful in getting their convictions overturned.
Last year, another U.K. court overturned the conviction of an American street preacher named Daniel Courney, who was accused of "threatening and discriminatory language" while preaching to Muslims in the city of Lincoln.
A Muslim woman had alleged that Courney called her "ISIS" and told her to "go back to your country." However, the preacher denied the claim.
"I have been held in police custody and accused of being a hate preacher," Courney said at the time. "At all times I simply wanted to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Late last year, two other Christian street preachers were questioned by police after preaching the Gospel in Camberley on Dec. 9. The men were accused of saying that "homosexuals are going to hell" and that "man cannot lie with man."
The two preachers denied the allegations and the charges were dropped earlier this year.