Hobart is a city that has powerful people committed to the exclusion of the gospel. For the last couple of months there has been a string of incidents with shop owners, council officers and police officers. The team and I have been repeatedly threatened with arrest or ordered to leave areas that anyone should be able to use to speak or hand out literature.
The repeated claim of shop owners is that we are harassing people by politely handing literature out and offending people by preaching the gospel. Police and council officers have likewise reiterated our gospel activity as their motive for seeking to remove us from public streets. This ongoing harassment and discrimination has had a toll on both myself and the rest of the team.
We have been instructed by council that we are not to preach or hand out literature anywhere in the city other than the specific area assigned for speakers corner (where you are unable to hand out literature by the way). The Tasmanian Police have repeatedly voiced their unconditional support for the council regardless of our protests that council actions are illegal. Council bylaws do not support these instructions nor does any other legislation within Tasmania or Australia. If team members do not obey this illegal instruction we face loss of our permits to use the mall to evangelise and the police will be called to move us on or arrest us.
We are currently assessing what approach to take in this situation. Please be in prayer on our behalf; ask that we will continue to preach the gospel and that we would have wisdom, Godliness and boldness in how we behave.
God will be glorified in Hobart and the proud hearts and enemies of His way will fail. We pray they will fail as God draws them to repent of their sin and come to love and trust in Jesus.
Glory to God in the Highest!