How can praying in public be a crime?

Nov 3, 2019 by

by Tim Dieppe, The Conservative Woman:

CHRISTIAN Hacking may be the first person in modern times to be arrested and prosecuted for praying in a public place in the UK. Hacking, a wheelchair user, was arrested on 8 August 2019 for praying outside a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing.

Police were called when clinic staff reported that two men were praying on the green outside. Hacking continued to pray for mercy for the clinic and others involved. He refused to stop praying so he was forcibly taken to a police van and then spent eight hours in a cell.


There is currently a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) put in place by Ealing Council which prohibits a range of activities from taking place within 100m of the clinic. The prohibited activities include prayer, making it a potentially criminal offence in the UK.

PSPOs are intended to tackle anti-social behaviour or harassment. For example, another PSPO by Ealing Council prohibits loitering in groups which are engaging in anti-social behaviour, urinating, littering, using illegal drugs, spitting and obstructing access to businesses. 

Prayer should never be illegal

How can it be that praying is now a criminal offence in some places in the UK? Praying is not harassment. Praying is not anti-social behaviour. Praying is something that no government should ever make a crime.

Read here

Read also: The hounding of pro-life protesters shatters the myth of ‘tolerant’ Britain by Lucy Denyer, Telegraph

First arrest and prosecution for praying in public case collapses after bungled police investigationby Gabriella Swerling, Telegraph

Christian Concern report featuring interview with Christian Hacking

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