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Black church leaders speak out

September 2006

A letter protesting against the Labour Government’s sexual orientation regulations appeared in the Telegraph newspaper in July. The letter was signed by 177 pastors of black churches and helpfully highlighted the discrimination felt by many Christians at attempts being made by the Government to impose an obligation on Christian organisations to accept homosexuality as morally equivalent to heterosexuality.

The text of the letter reads:
‘Sir, We write as pastors on behalf of tens of thousands of black British Christians. Many members of our congregations in London left their home countries to come to England to experience the freedom of living according to their Christian beliefs in a Christian democratic country.


‘But increasingly the Labour Government is discriminating against Christians in order to appease minority groups. From the Government’s behaviour, it seems that those minority groups have disproportionate access to the ears of politicians and use that ­access to promote views and values that are contrary to the views and values which have been at the centre of protecting and promoting British families, schools and local communities for centuries.


‘The latest discrimination against Christians is the new law called the Sexual Orientation Regulations, said to combat the problem of homophobia in Britain. It alarms us that the Government’s only evidence for a problem actually existing is “accounts in national newspapers’”.


‘The regulations force Christians in churches, businesses, charities and informal associations to accept and even promote the idea that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality.


‘For the sake of clarity, this is not what the Bible teaches and it is not what we believe to be the truth. In our view, these regulations are an affront to our freedom to be Christians.


‘If the Government thinks that we will accept this law lying down, they are mistaken. This sort of Christianophobia from the Government is no longer acceptable.’

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