Posted by: the watchmen | February 28, 2009

Oppression of Christians.__________submitted by Zarove.

On my mind:

Bishop of Worcester John Inge took ideas for prayer at a job center in Redditch. The Church of England invited people to share concerns that would be prayed about at an Ash Wednesday service.
David Jones/PA Wire

Nurse: Caroline Petrie offered a patient prayers.
Barry Batchelor/PA/AP

Some British Christians feel oppressed in the public square
High-profile cases involving Bible-sharing and prayer have raised concerns. But many say that reining in certain expressions of faith is a necessary compromise in a multicultural society.
By Mark Rice-Oxley | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the February 26, 2009 edition

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LONDON – For a nation shaped by an overtly Christian heritage, Britain has apparently become a difficult place to be overtly Christian.

The conservative press bewails a steady erosion of Christian values. A member of Parliament has called for debate on “systematic and institutional discrimination toward Christians.” Even former Prime Minister Tony Blair recently let slip how aides would brusquely suppress any instinct he had to bring his faith into public view.

Now, a succession of ordinary Christians are finding this rule applies to them, too.

Earlier this month, Caroline Petrie, a nurse, was suspended for offering to pray for a patient. The case echoed another incident in which social worker Naphtali Chondol was fired for giving a Bible to a client.

Elsewhere, a teen was prohibited from wearing a chastity ring in school in a case redolent of British Airways’s move to forbid a check-in worker, Nadia Eweida, from wearing a cross. A university Christian group was banned for requiring that members attest to their belief in God. The requirement was considered discriminatory.

“There’s going to be lots more cases like this,” says Paul Diamond, a barrister specializing in religious liberties cases who represented both Ms. Petrie and Ms. Eweida. “Christians are a soft target – it’s easy to be nasty to them.”

The Christian complaint is generally twofold: that other faiths are treated more favorably and that the dilution of Christian values in a soup of secularism has eroded the core morality of the nation

Christians like Eweida say this is “political correctness gone mad.” In her case, which she intends to appeal later this year, British Airways was allowed to decide which accessories of faith were acceptable and which were not.

The outcome? A more lenient approach to Muslims and Sikhs than toward Christians, she says.

“They deemed it mandatory for Muslims to wear hijab, but not for Christians to wear a cross,” she says. “What right have they got to tell me as an individual how to manifest and proclaim my personal faith? I was brought up in Egypt, and Christians there are allowed to wear crosses. Why should I feel ashamed to hide my faith and my cross because I believe in the word of God?”

The Church of England has begun weighing in on the debate. The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said that asking someone to leave their faith at the door of their workplace was “akin to asking them to remove their skin color before coming into the office.”


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