Josh Williamson

Pastor Josh Williamson of Newquay Baptist Church was told by police not to offend the LGBT community after being targeted by a wave of anti-Christian abuse – including threats of violence and calls for his church to be burnt down.

In August 2020, Josh responded to an article on a local news outlet’s Facebook page, which reported that this years’ Cornwall Pride would be cancelled, simply posting “Wonderful news!” Josh shared the article on his personal Facebook profile, commenting that it was an answer to prayer.

However, organisers of Cornwall Pride searched his personal page and shared the post, calling on their supporters to report the pastor to the police for hate speech and hate crime. Online threats followed against Josh and his wife, with LGBT sympathisers threatening to protest at his Sunday services and even burn the church down.

Josh commented: “My family and I, and our church community, have been very concerned by the level of anti-Christian abuse and threats of violence that we have been targeted with over the past few weeks. 

“As Christians we seek to speak the truth in love and would readily welcome all people to our services. The Bible, however, proclaims a message of repentance which calls on all people to turn from their sin and to trust in Christ. It would be unloving for us to remain silent about what God’s Word says in relation to human sin, including all forms of sexual sin. We therefore, must proclaim the truth that homosexuality is a sin, but that God loves sinners and Jesus can forgive all our sins.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “It’s becoming worryingly common in the UK to see threats and calls for violence against Christians for voicing their simple opposition to LGBT Pride. Police forces should show Christians they take this seriously by protecting their free speech against mob threats rather than by seeking to keep Christians quiet.”

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