Jesus Army barred from Christians unity festival

Controversial religious sect the Jesus Army was evicted from a Christian festival in Northampton.

Northhampton Mercury/June 15, 2000

Nearly 10,000 people flocked to Abington Park for Pentecost 2000, an event organised to unite various churches in the town.

Organised by a group calling itself Churches Together, the gathering was billed as an event to unite all denominations in praise.

But a member of the Jesus Army, who attended with a 10ft sculpture on wheels, titled 'Millennium Man', was ordered to leave the public park by the head of the organising committee. He told the Mercury:'The Jesus Army is not one of the churches involved in the event and they are not invited to take part. Every Christian denomination is represented here today, but the Jesus Army is not a group which we recognise within Churches Together.'

'To wheel the exhibit around they should have applied for a display licence. Because they had not, we were entitled to ask them to leave.'

A member of the Jesus Army, said that Pentecost 2000 should have been used to unite all churches, not divide them. 'We wanted to support the event. I feel that Millennium Man, which represented the different churches and people loved equally by God, could have helped bring people together and in unity there is strength,' He said.

'I am disappointed we were asked to leave because we weren't doing anything wrong. It has obviously offended the organisers, which I am disappointed about.' 'The opinion of us being a cult is slowly going out of the window but incidents like this don't help.'

Pentecost 2000 was attended by many churches from across the county and others from outside the area. There was entertainment from gospel choirs, school groups and youth theatre.

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