Christian student Felix Ngole has been removed from Sheffield University’s social work course for his beliefs on biblical marriage.
Last year, the student made comments on his personal Facebook page in support of traditional marriage, following the case of American marriage clerk Kim Davis. Ms Davis expressed a conscientious objection to issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples, creating a media storm.
However, his comments on Facebook were reported to the University, which held a ‘Fitness to practise committee’ inquest.
During this, the second-year Masters student, 38, was told he had been excluded from further study on the programme and was ‘no longer recognised as a university student’. The committee stated that his Facebook comments ‘may have caused offence to some individuals’ and had ‘transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession’.
Mr Ngole is appealing the decision and is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC). In a statement from the CLC, he said the university’s decision to exclude him effectively creates a bar to office for Christians and amounts to ‘secret policing of Christian belief’.
He said: ‘I am determined to challenge the decision, because of its wider consequences and the huge issues of freedom of religion and freedom of expression it raises. My beliefs about marriage and sexual ethics reflect mainstream biblical understanding, shared by millions around the world.
‘Simply expressing that understanding, in a personal capacity, on my Facebook page, cannot be allowed to become a bar to serving and helping others in a professional capacity, as a social worker’.