Wichita A Wichita pastor who preaches against Islam has been ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from the Islamic Society of Wichita after he was arrested while distributing Bibles in front of the center.
Mark Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Ministry, was also ordered Thursday to serve a year of unsupervised probation and pay a $300 fine for loitering and disrupting a business.
Holick was arrested in front of the society in August 2010 while he and a dozen followers handed out Bibles, The Wichita Eagle reported. Police said they arrested Holick after he ignored a request to move to a public sidewalk.
“The only reason you were the one arrested is because you were the only one who disobeyed the police orders,” Sedgwick County District Judge Phil Journey told Holick.
Holick was found guilty last month in Wichita Municipal Court on two counts of loitering and disrupting a local business. The case moved to county court after he appealed that conviction.
During Thursday’s hearing, Holick quoted Bible verses and accused the city of violating his First Amendment rights.
“Wichita is confused,” Holick said. “I am not your enemy. Islam is. The Lord said there will be no other gods before me.”
Journey told Holick that the First Amendment protected his right to express his religious beliefs but also allowed laws to regulate how he practices his faith.
“I want you to think about this,” Journey said. “What if the shoe had been on the other foot and someone from the Islamic Center had come to your place and tried to convert your members and had blocked your driveway?”
Spirit One has been a street and online ministry since a month after his arrest, Holick said, when he sold his building in south Wichita to another church.
The judge also reminded Holick that the Constitution protects people of all faiths, not just Holick’s.