An American evangelist who was recently arrested in London for preaching against homosexuality is warning the church of growing religious persecution, including the suppression of free speech.
Ryan Schiavo, who leads Last Days Pulpit Ministry, was arrested in London on July 22 for preaching that homosexuality is a sin.
Schiavo is an American pastor who often travels to London to minister to the British youth in the public square. At the time of the arrest, Schiavo was preaching the Gospel while also addressing additional topics such as homosexuality and transgenderism.
"I was preaching the Gospel on the streets as I frequently do, but it was about a 30-minute message, and in the course of a long message, I can touch on many topics that I believe are pertinent," Schiavo told The Christian Post.
"At one point, I talked about the issue of homosexuality and transgenderism," he continued. "I said that homosexuality is a sin; I talk[ed] about how it's destructive, and the damage the transgender agenda is doing to children right now in the schools because it's being pushed on children at a very young age here."
During the message, Schiavo also contended that "the churches that have rainbow flags on them" were "not real churches."
In response to his remarks, a young woman believed to be a lesbian called the cops on the American evangelist.
According to video footage documenting the arrest, Schiavo was alleged to have violated Section 4A of the Public Order Act.
The law states that a "person is guilty of an offense if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm, or distress, he — (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or disorderly behavior, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting."
"It is an honor to suffer for Jesus Christ," Schiavo declared as Metropolitan Police came to arrest him. He also asserted that "God is going to judge this country so severely" for embracing the LGBT ideology.
Schiavo told The Christian Post that he was placed in a jail cell "for 10 hours and given a mental health evaluation by the National Health Service before being released in the middle of the night."
During the mental health evaluation, which lasted 30 minutes, Schiavo was asked "personal questions" about his family, work and physical well-being. He contended that the evaluation was utilized as an effort to "convince me not to talk about homosexuality in public anymore."
Schiavo warned that the use of the evaluation gave further evidence that "things are getting very bad" in the U.K. when it comes to religious freedom and freedom of speech.
"All these institutions are working together with each other; they're anti-Christ," Schiavo asserted. "It's time for the church to wake up and to be prepared for persecution.
He also noted that "Freedom of speech and expression are very much under attack in the Western world, and I'm concerned that many of these Western countries are becoming communist."
While Schiavo was not formally charged with a crime, his arrest places him "in the national police records for three years."
At the present time, he is working with the U.K.-based legal organization Christian Legal Centre to overturn the matter.
Photo courtesy: Heidi Fin/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.