By Hilary White

ROME, June 24, 2009 ( - Attacks by officialdom in the UK on public expression of Christian belief are continuing, with the emergence of the case a Christian nurse, Helen Slatter, who left her job after hospital administration told her to stop wearing her small gold crucifix necklace.

Nurse Slatter was told by her employer, the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, that the 1-inch gold necklace could “harbour and spread infections” or be used as weapon. She refused the hospital's suggestion that she carry the necklace in her pocket and has resigned, saying she would not choose between her job and her religion.

The hospital has issued a statement saying that no staff is allowed to wear necklaces or chains due to hygiene and safety reasons. Despite this, Slatter, who had worked at the hospital for five years, said that she had always worn the necklace under her uniform. “I've worked here for 15 months and if it was an issue, why didn't they let me know in the interview?”

Slatter has joined a long list of Christians who work in various places in the public sphere in the U.K. who have clashed with their superiors over their religious rights. One individual that has become a household name in Britain is nurse Caroline Petrie, who was threatened with the sack for offering to pray for a patient. But dozens of cases continue to arise in which teachers, nurses, civil officials, policemen, school employees and even school children are threatened with job discipline, legal action or even arrest for the least expression of their religious beliefs.

Many of these clashes have been the result of action by homosexual activists and the help of the Labour government's “anti-discrimination” laws. Most recently, the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) has issued draft “guidance” for schools that say teachers must hide their religion from students and colleagues. They must “promote equality and value diversity” by keeping their religious beliefs to themselves it said.

John Bowers QC, editor of a top employment law textbook, told the Christian Institute lobby group that the draft guidance will lead to a “chilling effect” and does not sufficiently safeguard the religious liberty of Christian teachers.

But a discrimination law expert has said that there is a more fundamental reason for this explosion of anti-religious sentiment than the homosexualist-inspired “equality and diversity” dogma. Britain has become obsessed with “political correctness” said Neil Addison in a lecture given at the Brompton Oratory in London on May 20. The persecution of religious people is being facilitated by a pervasive and growing “petty minded officiousness,” he said.

“Obsession with rules, a tendency to take offence at simple conversations, a lack of any sense of proportion, a lack of any desire to live and let live and in general a lack of simple old fashioned common sense.

“Whether it is foxhunting, smoking, adoption agencies, or microchips in rubbish bins, we are in society which is increasingly intolerant, repressive, regulated and untrusting and in consequence we have officials who are dictatorial, interfering and untrustworthy,” Addison said.

Addison particularly cited the cases in which the right of conscientious objection of doctors and nurses in the UK is being routinely dismissed. Ironically, Addison said, the reason given is the accusation that conscientious objectors are “imposing” their morality on others, which, he said, “ignores the fact that to make somebody do, or participate in, something they consider to be immoral is in itself to impose a view of morality.”