British Christians intimidated into hiding their faith

Religious Freedom

Printer-friendly version

Former Conservative Attorney General has suggested “an aggressive form of secularism” in Britain is threatening to “sanitise” the country of faith and exclude Christians from the public space.

Dominic Grieve says he finds it extraordinary that Christians are being sacked or disciplined for expressing their beliefs in workplaces and public bodies and being forced to hide their beliefs.

Describing Christianity as a “powerful force for good” in modern Britain, Mr Grieve calls on public figures not to be afraid of “doing God” and he believes politicians  have a duty to explain how their beliefs inform their decisions.

However, during Mr Grieve’s tenure as Attorney General, Government lawyers submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that Christians should leave their religious beliefs at home or move to another job when faced with a clash between the requirements of their faith and their employment.

The submission was made in landmark Christian freedom cases brought by Christian Legal Centre clients, Shirley Chaplin and Nadia Eweida, who had been penalised for wearing a cross at work.  UK government lawyers working for Mr Grieve told the ECHR that the ‘freedom to resign and seek employment elsewhere’ was sufficient to guarantee the religious freedom of both women (see here).
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Dominic Grieve now says he’s concerned about a series of high-profile cases where people have been banned from wearing crosses at work or sacked for resisting tasks which went against their religious beliefs.
He describes himself as a “practising Anglican” and says Britain is “underpinned” by Christian ethics and principles.  He criticises the Tony Blair era when Alastair Campbell, the Downing Street communications director, famously said “we don’t do God” amid concerns that religion would put voters off.
Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, says: “It is a shame that Dominic Grieve did not come out as forcefully when he was Attorney General and had the position and influence to make a difference in the four Christian freedom cases that went to Strasbourg in 2012.
“At the Christian Legal Centre we are engaged in many legal battles in the highest courts in the land on behalf of Christians who get into trouble for living out their faith in the public space; NHS workers who are penalised for praying for work colleagues who’ve asked them for prayer; Christians sacked after false accusations were made by Muslim co-workers;  council workers dismissed for expressing their belief in heterosexual marriage; and others forced out of a job for wearing a cross on their lapel or not wanting to work on a Sunday.

The small minority of militant atheists living in the Christian state of England are trying to intimidate Christians:
Translate »