Joel Edwards appointed to new commission
Commenting in an Evangelical Alliance press release, Mr Edwards said he would strive to ensure that the values of faith communities play an effective role in the commission. ‘As a Christian leader, I believe one of my primary responsibilities will be to ensure that the values of faith communities – our concerns for important issues such as respect and tolerance – play an effective role in this commission.
‘But I think equally it is going to be a huge challenge for Christians and people of faith as we learn how to present our faith distinctives within a liberal democracy, where morals and values cannot be dictated to by Christian faith alone’.
The single equality commission was established by the Equality Act 2006 and is designed to represent the best option for tackling illegal discrimination and promoting a fair, equal and diverse society.
It brings together the three existing UK equality commissions – the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission. It will also incorporate three new human rights strands – age, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.
Mr Edwards is a British immigrant from Jamaica. He was a probation officer for 14 years and the senior pastor of Mile End New Testament Church of God for 10 years before becoming the first black general director of the Evangelical Alliance in 1997.