Ray Comfort Evangelism Outreach Shut Down In D.C.
Filmmaker and author Ray Comfort has to revise his outreach plans during the June 4 Reason Rally at the National Mall in Washington D.C., according to D.C. police, or face arrest.
An estimated 20,000 atheists will gather in June to hear speakers such as Johnny Depp and Penn Jillette. Comfort had planned to give away 5,000 copies of his new book about atheism, along with $25,000 worth of Subway gift cards to atheists, as a gesture of Christian love but after threats of arrest, Comfort has decided to cancel the outreach.
Over 1,000 others had signed up to join him for the outreach event and to film open-air preaching for his TV program - "The Way of the Master" -- broadcast in 190 countries - he had
"To the D.C. police," Comfort reported, "that constituted a protest and therefore we needed a permit to gather. We would have to stay at the other end of the National Mall, and they said that if we persisted to approach atheists to speak with them we would be arrested."
The best-selling author then decided to cancel the outreach event, though they would still be filming at the Washington Monument. He added, "Our crew is only 17 people, so we don't need a permit if we go there as individuals. The Reason Rally is free and open to the public, so if any other groups of individuals show up on their own initiative they won't need a permit either or be arrested if they approach atheists."
Comfort added that he can see the perspective of the police. "To authorities, Christians and atheists are enemies. So they want to keep us apart for the sake of peace, especially with more serious threats facing America. That's understandable. But at the same time I'm a little frustrated because I have a very good relationship with atheists."