We call upon His Majesty’s Government to uphold freedom of religion and belief in the UK, and to disallow policies that seek to suppress religious belief and discriminate against Christians. We call upon the Government to uphold the right to free speech for all.
We have the following areas of concern:
(1) RHSE policy, supported by Ofsted, is increasingly being used in schools to implement an LGBT compliant curriculum, which normalises and embeds teaching contrary to Christian belief as set down in the Bible. This infringes freedom of religion (Schedule 1, Article 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998) and the right of parents to have children educated in line with their religious belief (Article 2 of Protocol 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998).
(2) The proposed Online Safety Bill, currently before Parliament, seeks to make social media firms responsible for policing ‘legal but harmful’ content. No definition is given as to what constitutes such content. Transferring responsibility for determination to social media firms inevitably risks prioritisation of ‘woke’ values over more traditional views – which are all too frequently today condemned by LGBTQ+ activists as ‘harmful’ to their claimed identity and rights. This could therefore be used to exclude expression of traditional Christian belief.
(3) Following the Bishop of Oxford’s statement that Church of England clergy should have the freedom to bless and marry same-sex couples, there has been increasing talk of legislative intervention now being used for the removal of legal barriers. Regardless of the Bishop’s personal conviction, the issue remains contrary to Scripture and the declared beliefs of the Church of England, which he has pledged to uphold, and any such legislation would be an unacceptable intervention and affront to Bible believing Christians. When it comes to the organization and administration of the Church, religion and State must remain separate.
We therefore call on the Government actively to uphold and defend the right of Christians to practise their faith, as set down in the Bible, freely and without restriction, and we call for all future legislation to be framed in such terms as to enshrine that freedom.
We call for protection of Christians against coercion and intimidation in the public space, and that their freedom of speech be maintained.
We call for Christians to be accorded respect, which is the right of all, and for a more equitable and even-handed approach in policy making.