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Spirit One pastor arrested outside Wichita Islamic Society

August 30, 2010|By Chris Durden | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
Photo provided by Mark Holick/Spirit One Christian Center

(WICHITA, Kan.) — Police arrest a pastor outside the Islamic Society of Wichita. It happened Friday afternoon as members were marking the holy month of Ramadan.

Pastor Mark Holick of Spirit One Christian Center says he was arrested for handing out "packets that included the Gospel of John and the Book of Romans in English and Arabic, a DVD with testimonies of former Islamists who have come to the Lord."

Holick says Wichita police arrived and asked him and about a dozen other people to move farther away from the building. Holick says he was then arrested for "loitering and failing to disperse."

Holick says he wants the charges dropped.

The incident comes amid growing protests and demonstrations against mosques around the country. About 2/3 of people in New York oppose expanding a mosque near Ground Zero. They say it should be built farther away.

This weekend, someone set fire to construction equipment at a mosque near Nashville. The FBI, ATF and local authorities are investigating it as a possible hate crime

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In an email, Holick says his group was peaceful and he was exercising his First Amendment rights on the sidewalk. He included photos of the incident which you can see on this page.

Holick is no stranger to controversy. In the past, the sign outside Spirit One said: "America We Have a Muslim President This is a Sin Against The Lord." The story received national attention, including reports on CNN. President Obama is not a Muslim and is a Christian.

Efforts to contact the Islamic Society were unsuccessful.

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