A group of religious street preachers were arrested on Wednesday in Bristol's Broadmead shopping centre to the delight of cheering crowds. The four men, thought to be from the American-based Cross Encounters Minister, were later said to be "singing in their cells" after being held on suspicion of public order offences. Amid the preaching an angry crowd gathered and after the four refused to stop their demonstration as police asked they were arrested by officers, who had to attend the scene.
A witness claimed they had stirred up the crowd by preaching that "Allah does not exist" and "all Muslims will burn in hell".
She alleged they had also made other controversial comments – calling people "disgusting" for being gay, divorced or living in 'sin'.
Their comments sparked a crowd to stop and the arrival of the police.
In the video footage one of the preachers, who says he is called Michael, states: "The purpose is to worship God. I have some sympathy for you sinners, but the purpose of mankind is to worship God.
You need to obey God and obey his commands.
"I hated his commands once and I remember what that mind frame is – it is like banging your head against a brick wall."
A police officer then approaches him and states: "Look you are causing a disturbance now, you are not welcome."
The crowd begin chanting 'go home, go home, go home' to the four men.
The police officer then warns the man he will receive a dispersal notice under the anti-social behaviour act - meaning he will have to move away from the Broadmead area and not return for 24 hours.
The officer then asks the preacher's name, to which he replies Michael, but refuses to give his surname.
Michael then says he will not leave the area and the officer warns he will be arrested if he fails to do so.
The preacher then begins to shout about 'love' and is taken away by the officer with his hands behind his back – to the delight of the cheering crowd.
Shoppers start clapping, whistling and shouting woo as a PCSO says he will be seizing some of the preacher's demonstration boards.
The men are understood to be part of the Cross Encounters Minister which states its purpose is to "proclaim the gospel, disciple believers, and assist churches to do the same".
However, a spokesman said the men were not members of the religious group but "represent their own ministries and churches".