‘If you are gay, you will die’: Religious protestors congregate outside Bristol’s Senate House

The protestors were met with peaceful resistance by a group of students holding a pride flag

Religious missionaries “in relationship with” the Bristol Baptist religious group, Spirit of Life, gathered outside Senate House this morning (18th October) preaching: “If you get an abortion, you will die. If you are gay, you will die.”

As students were going between lectures, protesters gathered outside the building and loudly explained their religious beliefs while handing out leaflets to those who passed by.

According to eyewitnesses, the protestors repeatedly said: “We want the homosexuals to repent”. Some students, who were merely watching the protestors, were called “unintelligent” by the demonstrators.

In response, a collective of students reacted peacefully by holding a large pride flag in front of the religious group and then drawing a pride flag in chalk on the ground.

This attracted more attention and dozens of students quickly gathered outside of Senate House.

The protest never became violent, however two students told The Bristol Tab that they felt “personally condemned” as they were rebuked for their sexualities and lifestyles.

Security services and police officers shortly arrived on the scene to try and take control of the situation but the protestors continuously ignored their questions.

The officers proceeded to take one of the protesters who was filming aside, whilst the others tried to shepherd students off to their lectures to minimize the exposure that the group was receiving.

By noon the protest had completely dissipated, with the missionaries being removed and students booing them as they descended down Woodland Road.

When approached for comment, the Bristol based Spirit of Life Church said: “The men today are not members of our church, but missionaries from the USA who are in relationship with our church.

“Spirit of Life Church in Bristol does hold to a biblical view of gender, sexuality and marriage. We also hold to the biblical truth that the unborn is a human from conception and abortion is by definition murder.”

One of the security officers involved in dissipating the protest said: “In the last three years, I have never seen a protest like this.”

Officers said that there would be a follow-up investigation, as the leaflets circulated by the group were taken by uniform officers.

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “Every member of our community should feel safe and respected when they are on and around our campuses. In this instance, the police took appropriate action, and the group was moved on.”  

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