New anti-social behaviour Bill will 'criminalise Christianity', says evangelist
Published 26 November 2013 | Carey Lodge
Original Article: Christianity Today
A street preacher and TV evangelist has released a video criticising a new Bill that he says will violate the right of Christians to share the gospel.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill, which is currently going through the House of Lords, will replace the Labour Government's ASBO Bill.
If the new law is passed, anyone over the age of 10 or a group of people in a public place who are perceived to be causing a nuisance to another person, can have an injunction taken out against them.
This injunction will be called an IPNA - Injunction to Prevent Nuisance or Annoyance.
Austin Baxter warns in his video that the wording of the Bill is far too open. He claims that the terms 'nuisance' and 'annoying' are subjective, and that without a firm definition there can be no safeguards against the law being used to stop evangelists from sharing their faith.
He lists the possible effects of the Bill, saying that it will "limit or even shut down" street preaching, street evangelism projects, handing out tracts, and even carol singing.
"It's anti-social behaviour to preach the gospel now," he says.
In response to the Bill, he calls for Christians to take a stand, to write to their MPs and pray "strongly and aggressively" against the "forces of secularism".
"Over the years we've seen a militant secularism coupled with a political correctness in our culture that has systematically attacked Christians and Christianity, which has been the bedrock of our nation," he says.
"Our society is attempting to criminalise Christianity...This is shown by making laws that will make it almost impossible to share your faith and preach the gospel.
"It's obvious that we are involved in a spiritual warfare and we are under attack from the Kingdom of Darkness," he warns.
"The enemy is out to extinguish Christianity in this nation."
However, Mr Baxter also notes that the Bible says we are to expect persecution, and recalls the promise found in the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus will "build the Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it".
The TV evangelist calls on Christians to "rise up, believe that Scripture, and stand for our faith in this time and age".
He stresses the importance of staying aware of Government policies, and continuing to stand for the right to freedom of speech.
"We want to see God's Kingdom come, and that can only happen when the gospel is preached," he says.
"It's about time we rise up and pray and begin to speak out against the criminalisation and the marginalisation of our faith and our witness."
Mr Baxter's video can be watched in full here:
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