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All articles in category Religious liberty

News

July 2019
News > Persecution > Religious liberty

Former magistrate appeals against ban

Richard Page, a former magistrate who was removed from the judiciary for his beliefs about best interests of children has challenged the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor over his dismissal. Mr Page told an employment appeal tribunal in May that his dismissal amounted to discrimination against his Christian faith. He was supported by the Christian Legal Centre. The appeal also called into question the impartiality of the Lord Chancellor – who at the time was Conservative politician Michael Gove – who made the decision to remove Mr Page as a magistrate. The permission to appeal was granted in December 2018 after Her Honour Judge...

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News

June 2019
News > Religious liberty

Christian school worker sacked for Facebook posts questioning sex education

A Christian school worker is to challenge a Gloucestershire school academy’s decision to dismiss her for gross misconduct. Kristie Higgs was dismissed after she shared two Facebook posts that raised concerns about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at another school in the same village, her own child’s Church of England Primary School. Kristie, mother of two who had been working at the Gloucestershire academy for six years as a pastoral assistant, was told following an investigation and a six-hour hearing that she would be dismissed without notice. Earlier last year, her child’s Church of England Primary School sent out a letter informing parents it was...

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News

June 2019
News > Religious liberty

Street preacher arrest prompts petition

Christian Concern is petitioning the Home Secretary asking him to review the guidance to police officers regarding street preachers following yet another arrest in London earlier this year. So far, thousands have signed the petition, but Christian Concern has urged for more names to ‘add pressure’ on the Home Secretary and the police to force a change in police practice when it comes to questioning and arresting street preachers. The petition came after street preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi was forcibly arrested on Saturday 23 February outside Southgate Tube station. According to video footage, Mr Oluowole was preaching on the streets as he often does. The police...

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News

May 2019
News > Religious liberty > Society

Home school registration plans unveiled

Plans to force home-schooling families in England to register with their local authority have been unveiled by the government, drawing great concern. The current law does not require parents to notify the authorities that they are educating their children at home, although some councils run a voluntary register. Many home-schoolers will be wary of increasing state regulation and unnecessary intrusion into family life. But Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the government had a duty to make sure children were ‘safe’ and receiving a ‘good’ education. Hinds said a register would also help the authorities spot young people who may be receiving a ‘solely religious’ education....

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News

May 2019
News > Education > Religious liberty

Mum sues school for forcing her child to take part in ‘gay pride’ parade

A mother, Izzy Montague, is taking legal action against her child’s former school for how they handled her complaint after her child was forced to take part in a ‘gay pride’ parade. She is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, which says Mrs Montague has filed a complaint with the County Court against the Governing Body of Heavers Farm Primary School. She is alleging breach of her parental rights, victimisation and harassment at the hands of the school. The problems began in June 2018 when the headteacher of Heavers Farm Primary School in south-east London made pupils as young as five take part in...

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News

May 2019
News > Religious liberty

Home Office says Christianity isn’t a peaceful religion in asylum letter

An Iranian Christian asylum seeker was sent a rejection letter from the Home Office which said Christianity is not the peaceful religion he claimed it to be. The claimant said in his application that he had found ‘peace, forgiveness and kindness’ in Christianity in contrast to the ‘violence and revenge’ of his former Muslim faith. But an official in the Home Office challenged his interpretation and quoted several passages from the Bible to refute his claim. The Bible passages included Matthew 10:34 where Jesus says, ‘Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.’...

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News

April 2019
News > Religious liberty > Society

Police standards body investigating arrest of London street preacher

The police Professional Standards Unit is investigating the arrest of a street preacher in London. A disturbing video has been posted online showing officers arresting Oluwole Ilesanmi on Saturday 23 February outside Southgate tube station. The preacher was arrested for ‘breaching the peace’ after a member of the public complained that he was ‘Islamaphobic’. In the video of the arrest, police officers are seen handcuffing the preacher and forcefully ripping a Bible out of his hands. After he was removed from the area, he was de-arrested and no formal charges were brought against him. Many critics have pointed to police double standards, because the police...

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News

March 2019
News > Religious liberty

Free speech guidance issued for Universities

New guidance has been published for students and universities setting out the legal rights and obligations to help protect free speech on campuses. In recent years, Christian and pro-life groups have been forced off campus because of their religious and ethical beliefs. And well-known feminists like Germaine Greer have been banned from giving lectures to students because of her views on transgender people. But now new guidance produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission says student unions and universities must do more to protect free speech. David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: ‘The free expression and exchange of different...

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News

March 2019
News > Religious liberty

Bid to force churches in England and Wales to perform same-sex weddings

There was an attempt in the House of Lords to change the law so that clergy in the Church of England and the Church in Wales would be forced to perform gay weddings. The amendment was signed by Lord Collins of Highbury, but it was withdrawn before it could be voted on. In 2013, when the UK government brought in same-sex marriage, it promised ‘iron clad’ protections so that ‘those who do not want to conduct same-sex marriages will never have to’. Clergy in the Church of England and the Church in Wales need specific legal protection because they are otherwise under a legal duty...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Persecution > Religious liberty > Society

Christian magistrate can challenge his dismissal over gay adoption comments

A Christian former magistrate has won the right to legally challenge his dismissal over remarks he made about same-sex couples adopting children. Richard Page, from Kent, lost his role after saying in a BBC interview that a child would be better looked after by a man and a woman rather than a gay couple. His comments came after Mr Page, along with two other Magistrates, considered an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child in Kent in July 2014. He was later sacked for ‘serious misconduct’ by the then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his comments suggested he was...

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News

October 2018
News > Religious liberty

Bible ban nurse cleared to return to work

A nurse dismissed for giving a Bible to a patient has been allowed to return to work, although the two-year ordeal has left her stressed and ‘humiliated’. In a video interview, Sarah Kuteh said she was ‘deeply shocked, very hurt and humiliated’ by the 2016 decision by the Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford to summarily dismiss her from her post. The action came after complaints she had talked to patients about her Christian faith and had given a Bible to one patient.  The hospital also brought a case questioning her ‘fitness to practise’ as a nurse before the professional regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery...

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News

October 2018
News > Religious liberty

Religious liberty – BA worker in fresh legal claim

A British Airways employee who won a legal battle in 2013 to wear a cross on a necklace at work has launched a fresh tribunal claim against the airline for ‘victimisation and harassment’. According to reports in the national press Nadia Eweida — whose landmark victory against BA came at the European Court of Human Rights — has freshly claimed ongoing harassment since her ‘whistleblowing’. She is now pursuing a new employment tribunal claim against her managers, whom she has accused of victimisation, harassment and punishment in the wake of the publicity of her former case. At the time of going to press, no Christian...

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