Are Worship Restrictions Coming to a City Near You?

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James Lasher

What would you do if an authoritarian state decided that you were not allowed to sing certain songs out in public and if you did you could be cited or even worse, arrested?

Christians in the U.K. are already being arrested for praying silently, all because they are across the street from abortion clinics, but certain police officers have also begun taking issue with people singing worship songs in public now as well.

A volunteer police officer is under scrutiny after wrongly instructing Christian singer Harmonie London that she couldn’t perform church songs outside church grounds on Oxford Street. The incident, captured on video and shared on London’s YouTube channel, has sparked criticism and calls for the officer to be “struck off” from the voluntary force.

Known for sharing her Christian street performances online, London was approached by the officer outside John Lewis department store. The officer asserted, “No miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way.” Despite London’s correction, the officer persisted, stating she couldn’t sing worship songs “unless you have been authorized by the church to do these kinds of songs.”

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The exchange was recorded, and the video shows the officer walking away sticking her tongue out to the camera.

This less-than-professional, and factually incorrect, behavior from the officer has gone viral with people around the world condemning her for not knowing the law, being improperly trained and targeting someone for singing.

Former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe said the officer should be removed from the voluntary force, that the officer had “got the law completely wrong” and insisted that London had every right to sing Christian songs in a public space.

“There is no basis at all for saying you can’t sing. I could walk down the street singing ‘Onward Christian Soldiers,’ and I would be committing no offense at all,” Widdecombe commented.

The incident has raised concerns about the understanding of legal rights in public spaces, especially regarding freedom of expression and religious practices.

The Metropolitan Police Service in the city of London did not help their case either, saying the officer was getting a talking to from her manager. What they did have strong feelings about online was the critics of the officer and posted on X saying “We’re aware of significant social media commentary. Some of the comments are personal and hurtful. This is unacceptable.”

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Yet when it came to the unlawful conduct of the officer, all they could muster was “We’re working to understand the context in which these comments were made.”

What do people get when systems of meritocracy and performance are removed, and untrained, unskilled and unqualified personnel take up positions of authority and law enforcement? Well, you get this. A situation that should have never happened, but perhaps needed to happen, which highlights the incompetence that has begun plaguing agencies around the world, especially here in America.

So, are Christians in America ready to experience situations like the one that just occurred in the U.K.? When persecution strikes, will the American church stand for the gospel of Jesus because their faith is rooted in the Word of God? Or will it wither before the targeting and harassments believers are prophesied to endure during the end times according to the Bible?

If anyone is unsure of the answer to that question, they would do well to spend more time in the Word and in prayer. Because the question isn’t if Christians will suffer persecution, but when.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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