Christians in the UK Facing Increasing Official Discrimination: Poll
By Hilary White
LONDON, June 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A poll conducted by the Sunday Telegraph has found that thousands of Christians in Britain fear losing job promotions and are being harassed at work because of their religious beliefs. The poll has been released at the same time that reports that Britain is becoming increasingly hostile to Christian believers are increasing.
In the Telegraph poll, one in five said they had faced “opposition” at work because of their beliefs. Over half said they had suffered from some kind of “persecution” at work.
44 percent said they had been mocked by friends, neighbors or colleagues for being a Christian. 19 percent said they had been ignored or excluded for the same reason.
In recent months and years nurses, public officials, charity workers, foster parents and potential adoptive parents, policemen, teachers, and even school children in the U.K. have been sacked and threatened with legal action and job discipline for expressing their religious convictions. A great majority of these cases are those in which people who stand by the Christian belief in natural marriage have come into conflict with Britain’s increasingly powerful homosexualist political lobby.
In January, a local council threatened to cut the funding of a nursing home for elderly Christian evangelists because residents had refused to relate their opinions on homosexuality. In a number of recent cases, potential foster parents and adoptive parents have been turned away by council authorities because of their faith-based opposition to the homosexual “lifestyle.”
In May, the government’s Equality ministers announced that Christian churches will be forced to hire active homosexuals as youth ministers even if their religion teaches that such activity is sinful. Despite efforts to include exemptions for religious groups, the Christian Institute says that the Labour government’s Equality bill “dramatically narrows exemptions in sexual orientation employment laws which protect the religious liberty of churches and other faith groups.”
The government has paid the anti-religious group the British Humanist Association (BHA) £35,000 to draw up “guidelines” for the Equality ministry. Andrew Copson, director of education at the BHA, said that sharing religious beliefs at work could be called harassment under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
He said, “The law specifically protects people from being intimidated or confronted with a hostile environment in the workplace.
“Systematically undermining someone's beliefs or persistently attempting to convert someone would lead to the creation of a hostile environment.”
The group has encouraged the government actively to undermine the religious “ethos” of Britain’s “faith schools.” The BHA, responding to a letter in the Times newspaper, said that under the Equality bill they would be working to “pressure Parliament to outlaw religious discrimination in our schools.”
Read LifeSiteNews.com’s extensive coverage:
UK Secularists and Gays Demand Marginalization of Christians
Christian U.K. Registrar Loses Right of Conscience on Same-Sex Civil Unions
Another UK Couple Rejected for Fostering Children over Religious Beliefs on Homosexuality
Christian Teacher Suspended after Questioning Homosexualist Training Program
Funding Cut for U.K. Christian Care Home Accused of “Institutionalised Homophobia”