Bits & Bobs
Stephen Baker, Manchester
NO-GO AREA FOR BIRMINGHAM STREET PREACHERS
Two evangelical ministers claim police threatened to arrest them for ‘hate crime’ for evangelizing in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. Arthur Cunningham (48) and Joseph Abraham (65) were leafleting in Alum Rock Road and began talking to four Asian youths when they were forced to stop by a police community support officer (PCSO). Mr. Cunningham reported the PCSO as saying that they ‘were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread the Christian message’. He said we were ‘committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam’. The two evangelists have launched legal action against West Midlands Police for infringing their right to profess their religion. They claim the PCSO warned that if they returned to the area they might get beaten up.
Source: Daily Telegraph (2/6)
BT CHARITY’S STARK WARNING
The UK’s personal debt crisis is forcing families to miss meals, breaking marriages and causing mental illness, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has found. Its research found that nearly a quarter of clients regularly sacrificed meals, 23% per cent of clients’ marriages broke down and 69% per cent visited their GP to find seek help with debt-driven stress. ‘Families and couples are being pushed to breaking point’, CAP boss Matt Barlow said. The lending practices of banks and building societies, and extortionate interest charged by loan companies were cited as causes, along with sharply rising food, fuel and utility bills.
Source: Baptist Times (24/4)
BIBLES MADE IN CHINA
Bibles were banned in China 30 years ago, but now it has one of the biggest Bible factories in the world. The expanded printing press of the Amity Printing Company – a joint venture with Bible Societies around the world was opened on 18 May. The new factory in Nanjing has the potential to print 12 million Bibles a year – that’s one Bible per second rolling off the presses. Last year it celebrated the printing of its 50 millionth Bible.
Source – The Bible Society