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article imageLocal citizens protest police threats to arrest Christians

By Mike White     Aug 30, 2013 in World
Raleigh - A large group of Raleigh, North Carolina, citizens protested at a recent city council meeting against local police for threatening recently to arrest Christians if they fed the homeless at a city park.
About 250 people Wednesday attended at a Raleigh, North Carolina, city council meeting to protest the local police department’s threats last weekend to arrest Christians if they provided food to the homeless who had been sleeping in a local park. Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Decker-Brown claimed her officers were merely attempting to enforce local ordinances which require a permit before distributing food on city land, according to abclocal.go.com. Nobody was actually arrested, but no food was given out either.
Dozens of people reportedly spoke out against the police department’s actions at the city council meeting. According to the article, members of Love Wins Ministries have provided the food to the homeless for years. Members of the group wrote on their blog that about 70 people were present to receive the food. Volunteers say that the ordinance requiring a permit has never before been enforced.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane attended a rally Sunday at Moore Square, the same place where the police had not allowed the food distribution, and spoke with the Reverend Hugh Hollowell of Love Wins Ministries. She said she did not know why the enforcement of the ordinance came up so suddenly but realizes feeding the hungry is a need right now. She said she was sorry for the “confrontation or whatever happened yesterday” but that “the outcome is going to be good.”
According to the blaze.com, the ministry has provided coffee and breakfast sandwiches to the homeless for six years. The mayor has reportedly said nobody from the ministry will be arrested for giving out food while committees on the city council work out the situation.
Pastor Hollowell wrote on the blog that the ministry had large amounts of coffee and sausage sandwiches to give out last weekend. He claimed group members knew that before distributing food inside the park, his group would need an $800 permit. He added, however, that the group has been able to give out the food on the sidewalk outside the park with no problems in the past.
“We have operated, unmolested, under this assumption for the last six years,” Pastor Hollowell wrote on the Love Wins Ministries blog. He wrote that the police would not explain what ordinance his organization would be in violation of for giving out food on the sidewalk. He said when asked for an explanation, he was just told that the policeman would not debate the issue, just arrest members of the Christian group, if they disobeyed.
The ministry has asked for assistance from the public in finding a downtown parking lot or private building that can be used to feed the hungry. Pastor Hollowell said a permit to distribute inside the park would cost $800 per day.
On a second blog, Pastor Hollowell thanked supporters around the country for donating money, sharing posts about what happened and encouraging e-mails. He said he looked forward to working with the mayor and city council to solve the problem. He said in the meantime, he just looks forward to sharing a meal with friends in Moore Square.
More about Raleigh, North carolina, Police, Threaten, Arrest
 
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