Friday, 19 August 2011

Religious Liberty in the UK at Threat

Four cases are being considered by the European Court of Human Rights regarding situations where Christians have been persecuted due to their faith. These cases are UK cases.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission had aimed to intervene to promote 'reasonable accommodation' for religion.

They have now made a U-turn on this decision; they will still intervene, but not to promote 'reasonable accommodation' for religion.

In the case of Lillian Ladele, the Equality and Human Rights Commission will support the actions of Islington Council in forcing Lillian, a registrar, to decide between losing her employing or going against her Christian beliefs in facilitating a civil partnership.

The charity Relate asked a Christian Counsellor, Gary MacFarlane, to have to make a similar decision when required to choose between keeping his job or help the sexual relationship of a same-sex couple. The Equality and Human Rights Commission will now be supporting Relate.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission do intend, however, to support Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin in their cases. They were both told they were not allowed to wear crosses in the workplace.

A consultation opened on Monday till 5th September. This consultation is asking for people's views on the approach the Commission should take in their intervention on the four cases. Although they currently state that they will not address 'reasonable accommodation', it is still asking for peoples views.

This is a prime example of an occasion that requires Christians to gather together and support each other and the equality they should receive.

The Commission's consultation can be accessed here.

On the bottom of the page there is a link to a downloadable word document that explains further and asks 3 questions that the Commission would like to know your answers to. This is a brilliant opportunity to state how we feel issues around religious liberty should be addressed as people are willing to listen!

Please, please, get involved...