An American preacher serving on a week-long mission trip in Scotland was reportedly arrested Wednesday for openly preaching that homosexuality is a sin.
Tony Miano’s legal problems began when he delivered general comments about immorality during an outdoor sermon.
He spoke about adultery, promiscuity and — homosexuality, The Christian Post reported.
It was this latter issue that ended up landing Miano, who once served as Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, in hot water.
As he was preaching, a woman who disagreed with his message yelled out that she has a gay son and threatened to call police on Miano and Pastor Josh Williamson, another preacher who accompanied him.
“Tony wasn’t focusing just on homosexual practice — it was about all sin,” Williamson said in a statement distributed by the Christian Legal Centre, a legal group based in London. “A woman was yelling at him and her friend noticed we were filming the preaching, so she ran up to me and tried to smash my camera.”
The woman then made good on her promise and called the police.
When Scottish authorities arrived, they reportedly arrested Miano on the charge of “breach of peace with ‘homophobic’ aggravation.”
He was detained after a police officer questioned the woman about what had unfolded, according to the Christian Legal Centre, though police reportedly didn’t ask for his side of the story.
The pastor, who pleaded not guilty, was later released on bail and is expected to show up to court on April 22, though he is permitted to return to his home in the U.S. in the mean time.
Miano posted a Facebook message to his followers after his release.
“Well, as many of you have heard, after about 28 hours, I’ve been released from jail. Pray for Robert who heard the gospel this morning as we shared a holding cell while we both awaited our court appearances,” he wrote.
He later added, “May the Lord use all of this for his glory.
Miano also released a 36-minute video explaining his experience:
“This appears to be an overzealous reaction by the police. The incident adds to the number of arrests of Christian street evangelists for preaching from the Bible,” said Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre. “It is indicative of the suppression of the freedom to speak and live out the words of Jesus Christ in public and present the teachings of the Bible.”
Miano was previous arrested in Wimbledon, England, in July 2013, though the charges against him were inevitably dropped.
Watch him speak about that experience below:
(H/T: Christian Post)
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