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Clearing ground

October 2011

Clearing ground

A swathe of evidence has been handed to a special parliamentary inquiry set up to investigate the erosion of Christian freedoms in the UK.
    Christians in Parliament, a cross-party group of Christian MPs and peers, launched ‘Clearing the ground’ to ask whether Christians are really being marginalised in public life, and whether it is becoming more difficult to speak freely and be authentically Christian in the workplace.
    From August to October, evidence has been gathered to help clarify what Christians can and cannot do within the laws of this country. Gary Streeter MP, who is chairing the inquiry, said, ‘There has never been a more significant time for Christians to make a positive contribution to our society.
    ‘However, it is important to clear the ground of the confusion that sometimes appears to hinder our capacity to live and speak freely. This cross-party enquiry from the Commons and the Lords attempts to do just that’.
    The group will examine several high-profile cases of Christians facing court action because of the way they have lived out their beliefs, particularly in the workplace. It is also inviting Christian groups with a track record in public policy to submit evidence across the areas of education, medicine, family and children, business, employment, civil liberties and human rights.
    A statement from Christians in Parliament read, ‘The legal complexity and media portrayal of such cases is making many Christians and others unclear about the position of their supposed freedoms, and uncertain as to how they can continue to contribute to public life in the UK’.
    Oral evidence sessions will be taking place in November in the Houses of Parliament and a report is expected to help Christians and others understand the legal situation. The Evangelical Alliance is providing the secretariat for this inquiry.

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