Published On: Tue, Jun 3rd, 2014

Baptist church investigated for ‘inciting hatred’ over poster on belief in God

Attleborough Baptist Church in Nuneaton, Norfolk, featured burning flames below the words: “If you think there is no God you better be right!!”

"Offensive" poster in UK  photo courtesy of Attenborough Baptist Church

“Offensive” poster in UK photo courtesy of Attenborough Baptist Church

While the poster may have been intense, it may surprise folks that the local police launched an investigation after local Robert Gladwin complained about the sign.

Gladwin, age 20, says “I was just astounded really. We live in the 21st century and they have put that message – that non-Christians will burn in hell – up to try and scare people into joining their mentality.”

Pastor John Rose of the church responded by saying that the poster was an attempt to get people to engage with the Christian message and he regretted that it had been interpreted as inciting hatred.

A police spokesman said national guidance required them to investigate the complaint that the poster was offensive and the matter had been recorded as a “hate incident.” After talking to the police the poster was taken down.

“It is my basic understanding that Christianity is inclusive and loving in nature,” said Gladwin. “The message being displayed outside of the church could not be further from the often uttered phrase ‘love thy neighbor’.”

A survey of readers in the Daily Mirror was 2-to-1 in favor of leaving the poster up.

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