Making democracy work involves give and take – from everyone. In our plural, diverse society, this makes the task of politicians extremely difficult. History and globalisation add to this difficulty. Just as Western societies thought they could wave goodbye to religion, the rest of the world has been busy embracing it. Lately in the UK we have seen a clash of world views as the role of Christianity has come under pressure from legal challenges.
The ‘chill factor’ this brings means that many Christians in the UK feel that it is becoming harder to live in accordance to their beliefs. So what do we do? How do we live together while retaining and respecting our deepest differences?
This is not just a challenge for Christians, it is a challenge for us all. We all need to find a constructive way forward if we are to avoid a US-style 'culture war'. As a response to these issues Clearing the Ground, a report from an inquiry by Christian parliamentarians, will be published on Monday. Our cross-party inquiry found that Christians do indeed face increasing obstacles in living out their deeply held beliefs.
The headlines are stark. Councils banned from holding prayers, Bed and Breakfast owners taken to court, Catholic adoption agencies forced to close, employees disciplined for speaking about their Christian faith, or even displaying a cross on their dashboard. A recent case in Bath saw Christians being told that they could not promote their prayers for healing!
For some these cases are evidence of a coordinated attack on the historic Judeo-Christian faith. But we reject that. Christians in the UK are not being persecuted. To suggest that they are is to minimise the real suffering in many parts of the world of Christians who face repression, imprisonment and death. Read more...