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Can you get arrested in a church?
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Can you get arrested in a church?

I was in Bruges recently and one of the tour guides said that the abbey was a safe haven. Is this still the case in Catholic countries and has it ever been the case in the UK?


Sanctuary existed in our national law from the 4th to the 17th century. A person was safe from arrest in the sanctuary of a church or temple. While this right was abolished in the aftermath of the Reformation, there have been modern cases where people have sought sanctuary in churches in the UK and the authorities have tolerated the situation. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/jul/26/immigration.immigrationandpublicservices

I can't comment on the law of Catholic countries.

IN current day law, I don't believe the "sanctuary" exception would hold much water,

Violation Notification
Yes of course. Do you think if someone ran in a church with a gun the police would just sit outside and wait for them to come back out?

Je m'aime
Yes you can be arrested in a church in North america, I'm not sure about other places in the world.

-Mr Z-

Yes. Churches are safe havens, but that doesn't mean you CANNOT be arrested in a church. There are situations where you cannot. There are situations where, I am sure, the church and it's members would hand you over in an instant. What kind of a church is going to harbor a murderer or child rapist?

There are still times when the police will just surround the church and wait the person out. I think this is more for non-violent type though. It's really a situation where police storming a Church is bad for their image so they won't do it. About the only way you still have "sanctuary" is if your are a foreign national and go to the embassy of that Country.

Yes because the Obama administration has labeled you a threat to national security.

Sometimes they have to arrest priests, ministers, vicars,pastors etc.so, these days yes you can be arrested in church

david h
Many years ago people could claim sanctuary while inside a church, this meant they could not be arrested and were safe from the law.
Times change and this is not the case now !

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