In America, people of faith are being arrested for sharing the gospel in a public area. It seems instances such as these are becoming more and more frequent. Read more about these true accounts below.
Recently, two Christians were arrested for sharing their faith and singing worship songs on a public sidewalk in the Hampton Beach area. Police arrested the two men, charging them under a state law against “unreasonable or loud” noise, but the law has not been used against other much louder activities in the very busy beach district, including bands sponsored by the village precinct to increase business in the area.
A year earlier, Mark Frost, Jayson Gardner, and Craig Gardner were preaching to pedestrians on Ocean Boulevard in Hampton Beach. Because of the loud noise emanating from a rock concert at the beach boardwalk, the men rolled up a piece of paper to speak through so they could be heard. They were then approached by a police officer who informed them that they were in violation of a town noise ordinance, even though the men were preaching in an extremely noisy area and were told to stay quiet and stop using their paper “megaphone.”
The men complied with the request and moved to a different location two blocks away, where they preached without the rolled up paper and sang the Christian song “He Set Me Free.” The same officer reappeared and arrested Frost and Jayson Gardner for being too loud. While in custody, the police asked the men, “Where is your God now? There’s no God behind these walls.”
The men were subsequently charged with disorderly conduct under state law instead of being cited under the town’s noise ordinance. The Hampton District Court dismissed the charges, but as a result of the arrest, Frost and Gardner have not exercised their constitutional right to free speech on public sidewalks in Hampton for fear of arrest because of the arbitrary enforcement of the state law.