'This isn't 1984, but 2023': Christian arrested for silent prayer learns fate

September 26, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Only a week ago, U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote in an open letter that "Silent prayer, within itself, is not unlawful."

And now prosecutors have agreed, dropping charges that had been filed against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, who was arrested last March for silent prayer near an abortion business.

A report in Decision Magazine said the announcement came six months after the police investigation had begun.

She was arrested in March, and the report explained a video of her conversation with police attracted much attention.

Officers pointed out she said she was "engaging in prayer."

And that, they charged, "is the offense."

Vaughn-Spruce is director of the U.K. March for Life.

She said in a statement released to Decision, "This isn’t 1984, but 2023. I should never have been arrested or investigated simply for the thoughts I held in my own mind."

The confrontation actually was the second time she was arrested on the novel legal concept that people can be charged criminally for what they think.

She had been arrested on the same counts in 2022, then those were dropped last winter.

The report explained, "With charges now dropped and the law seemingly clarified, Vaughan-Spruce said she plans to continue silent prayer on public sidewalks near abortion clinics."

Jeremiah Igunnubole, a lawyer for ADF UK, which worked on her case, said the process of the case was the punishment for his client.

"Moreover, her story has put the world on notice that fundamental freedoms are vulnerable in the UK," he said.

He said the hope now is that people no longer will be prosecuted for their thoughts.

See police confronting Isabel Vaughan-Spruce.

WND reported at the time that she was not protesting, or doing anything else that is prohibited, except "engaging" in silent prayer.

A commentary at The Right Scoop explained how she was being targeted because of the U.K.'s "exclusion zone" law that allows police to harass Christians who pray over the abortion industry.

The report noted, "Does this sound familiar? Biden’s DOJ has been prosecuting people for something called the FACE Act, The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. They had prosecuted Catholic Mark Houk under this Act, but he was recently found not guilty. If the leftists continue to control our government, you can bet the FACE Act will make it illegal to silently pray, just like in the UK – all in the name of baby-murder. Thankfully we have a Constitution to protect us – for now."

Charges against her stemming from the first case had been dropped, but her lawyers insisted on getting an official verdict in court, which was not guilty.

WND also has reported on the case involving Adam Smith-Connor, who faced similar claims.

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