Canadian court drops charges against reverend for preaching in public without a permit
TORONTO, April 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Officials have dropped controversial charges against Rev. David Lynn, who regularly preaches Christian messages in Toronto's Yonge & Dundas Square.
Rev. Lynn was charged last year by Toronto police who said he needed a permit to preach the Gospel, claiming he was just another street performer, or busker. He was thus charged with “busking” without a permit.
Lynn's lawyer, Sonya Shikhman, said that police erred in charging him under the section governing street entertainers.
"The police alleged he was a busker," Shikhman said, "but the Crown came to the realization that what David Lynn does is not unimportant, and not merely entertainment or busking. So, in recognition of the fact that they charged him under the wrong law – because David is not a busker but rather a preacher – they withdrew the charges."
Rev. Lynn added that the police have seen him preaching in the same location for five years and this was the first time they attempted to charge him.
However, it is not the first time he has been harassed by the police.
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At the 2012 Toronto Gay Pride Parade, homosexual supporters verbally assaulted Lynn and his ministry team as police watched, and were later surrounded by as many as 12 officers who forced him and his crew to vacate the area.
“I felt a bit threatened by the law enforcement violating my rights,” Rev. Lynn told LifeSiteNews at the time. “It was really hurtful, because if that’s what happens when Christians stand up and exercise and practice their faith, then we’re not far from being imprisoned or even killed for the faith.”
Lynn told LifeSiteNews that he was there at the parade to tell the LGBT community about God's love and acceptance.
In an interview with Ezra Levant's TheRebel.media, Rev. Lynn said, "Hopefully I don't have to worry about preaching on a street corner any more. It's good news."
Ezra Levant concluded, "Between Rev. Lynn’s courage and Sonya’s tenacity, the Crown prosecutor agreed to drop the charges. The prosecutor knew that they’d lose in court — in Canada, at least for now, freedom of religion, speech and assembly still apply to the public square.”
“It was Rev. Lynn’s victory. But really it's a victory for all of us, too."