The Christian Legal Center in the United Kingdom has announced it is helping a Christian volunteer who was fined by police, and told his preaching was “not allowed,” on Easter 2020, appeal his penalty.
The organization said it is Andrew Sathiyavan, 47, who was fined by Deputy District Judge Minhas at Isleworth Crown Court.
The judge said he should have been preaching online instead of on the street.
The center explained, “Video footage of the incident reveals Andrew being questioned and arrested on Sutton High Street in south London on Easter Sunday 2020 after being told by the police that preaching the gospel was ‘not allowed.'”
The center pointed out, “His appeal hearing comes as the prime minister and leading political parties continue to come under pressure for repeatedly breaking COVID regulations during lockdown,” and explained, “The case highlights serious inconsistencies in the approach of the police to the regulations with members of the government and protestors acting with impunity throughout the pandemic and without police intervention.”
Sathiyavan works with Gospel Light Ministries, and regularly preaches across the UK. He also works with the homeless and those with drug and alcohol addictions.
“Gospel preaching is my work. I tell people about the Good News of Jesus Christ, which preachers have done for centuries in this country. I seek to reach people living in fear and without hope,” he said.
Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Center, called the treatment of the preacher “disturbing.”
“This is a man who spends his life reaching and serving the poorest and most marginalized in our society – the people who fall through the cracks and are left behind by the system. This man has a heart for the poorest in our society and for trying to reach out to them found himself locked up in a cell and strip searched. ”
Records show one of the officers, PC Routledge, complained that the preacher was there “without a purpose,” and therefore could be fined.
“Under COVID laws you are allowed to be outside if you are going to the shops, exercising or going to work. You are doing neither; you are preaching and that is unacceptable,” the officer charged.
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