Parliamentary inquiry to review freedoms for Christians

Published 24 August 2011
A parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the freedoms that exist for Christians within British law.

The inquiry has been launched by Christians in Parliament, the all-party parliamentary group, to seek clarity on what Christians may and may not do under the law.

It reflects the concerns of many Christians who feel that they are being increasingly marginalised in the public square, particularly in the workplace.

According to the Evangelical Alliance, the inquiry will attempt to ascertain whether the freedoms of Christians really are being eroded and what the law has to say about public expressions of faith.

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, but if we are to do that 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 inquiry from both the Commons and the Lords attempts to do just that.”

Confusion over the law has arisen out of recent high profile court cases involving Christians who were penalised as they sought to express or live out their faith.

These have included Christian employees disciplined for wearing Christian jewellery, Christian street preachers arrested for describing homosexuality as a sin, and Christian guesthouse owners made to pay damages for refusing to accommodate a gay couple in a double bedroom.

Evidence is to be presented to the inquiry by Christian public policy groups on a range of issues, including education, business and employment, and human rights.

A report will be compiled based on the evidence to help Christians and others understand the legal situation, and suggest possible improvements.

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