A pastor is facing a court trial this week to decide if he will go to prison over a government charge that his message was offensive to the point of being criminal.
The BBC reported the pastor described Islam as “satanic” and “heathen.”
The decision could determine whether Christian pastors will be allowed to preach biblical doctrine in the United Kingdom going forward.
His sermon, delivered from the pulpit of Whitewell Metropolitan Chapel of north Belfast, will be the subject of the Belfast Magistrates Court case.
He said he was “looking forward to testifying if they give me a chance. Either they try me and put me in prison or I am free to preach the gospel.”
The report said hundreds of supporters turned out to stand with the pastor.
They cheered and sang hymns.
McConnell said, “I will stand firm for the gospel. I will not relent one inch.”
The fight, McConnell earlier told the Mail, “Is important for every minister of the gospel of every denomination of freedom of speech and freedom of worship. This is, I believe, a test case.”