CHRISTIANS COMING OUT ON SUNDAY
DESPITE THREATS OF VIOLENCE 10/6/05
PHILADELPHIA - On Sunday, October 9, Repent America (RA) will be coming out to minister the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ and to take a stand against the public celebration of sin at "OutFest 2005," an annual homosexual celebration in the public streets of Philadelphia. Despite threats of violence by a militant group of homosexuals, this will be the first year that the Christians with RA will return after being arrested, jailed for 21 hours, and charged with a hate crime for evangelizing at last year's festival.
At the event last year, six men and five women with Repent America were approached by a militant group of homosexuals calling themselves the "Pink Angels". This group was formed by Chuck Volz, a homosexual attorney and senior adviser to Philly Pride Presents, Inc. Philly Pride Presents organize "OutFest" each year, receiving $22,500 from the City of Philadelphia for such events. Upon arrival, the "Pink Angels" blocked access to RA by forming a human chain, refusing to allow the Christians to walk down the public sidewalk. Police intervention only occurred after a elderly woman was attempting to get to her home in the area.
While on the public sidewalk and street inside the event, RA began to open-air preach with the use of Scripture banners, and to distribute Gospel literature, as members of the "Pink Angels" blew loud whistles and carried large signs alongside the Christians to block their message and their access to the event attendees, while others screamed obscenities. The police refused to take action as the Christians were continuously followed, obstructed, and harassed.
Repent America obeyed all laws, and even the unlawful requests, to move by the Philadelphia Civil Affairs police officers in an effort of cooperation. Regardless of Repent America’s compliance, Chief James Tiano, head of the Civil Affairs Unit, without warning, ordered the arrests of the Christians and hauled them off to jail, where they spent 21 hours, before being released the following day. The Christians were then individually charged with three felonies, and five misdemeanors and faced up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines each. The charges were later dismissed by Common Pleas Court judge Pamela Dembe.
This year, a group identifying themselves as "Anti-Racist Action" posted a press release on their website stating that they would "stop Repent America from disrupting the National Coming Out Day Block Party by any means necessary!"
"We do not believe that this is an empty threat of potential violence because members of Anti-Racist Action have previously attacked those in our ministry and destroyed our property," Repent America director Michael Marcavage stated. "Anti-Racist Action's unlawful behavior has been escalating, and if the Philadelphia police ignore their planned interference and harassment during our evangelistic outreach, violence could erupt against members of our group," Marcavage continued.
"We are certainly thankful that we once again have an opportunity to share the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ with those in attendance," Marcavage stated. "This year we will have an ex-homosexual with us to testify how he was set free from the bondage of sin through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ," Marcavage concluded.
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