Nearly a third of people in the UK believe that religious freedom has been restricted over the past ten years, according to a new poll.
In an accompanying report, entitled Free to Believe, Professor Roger Trigg warns that pushing Christian voices from the public sphere will undermine democracy.
Prof Trigg writes: “A free society should never be in the business of muzzling religious voices, let alone in the name of democracy or feigned neutrality.”
He adds: “We also betray our heritage and make our present position precarious if we value freedom, but think that the Christian principles which have inspired the commitment of many to democratic ideals are somehow dispensable.”
The poll, conducted on behalf of religious think-tank Theos, revealed that 32 per cent of people believe that religious freedom has been restricted in the UK.
And 63 per cent of people believe that the law shouldn’t prevent people from expressing their beliefs in the workplace.
Prof Trigg also laments the detrimental effect of the ‘equality’ agenda on religious liberty.
He says: “The pursuit of “equality” is rated more highly than religious freedom. Yet we dare not give up a burning desire to protect such freedom, since it lies at the heart of all freedom.”
High-profile cases of Christians being penalised for their faith have caused many people to question the limits of religious tolerance in the UK.
NHS nurse, Caroline Petrie, was suspended because she offered to pray for a patient.
Mum and part-time school receptionist, Jennie Cain, was disciplined because she emailed friends asking them to pray about an incident at school involving her daughter.
A Christian foster carer was struck off because she allowed a Muslim child in her care to convert to Christianity.
Teacher, Kwabena Peat, was suspended after he complained that a staff training day was used to marginalise those who disagreed with homosexual practice.
David Booker, a charity worker in Southampton, was suspended under ‘diversity’ rules after answering a colleague’s questions about his Christian beliefs on sexual ethics.
And Duke Amachree, a council worker, was also suspended from his job for encouraging a terminally ill woman to turn to God. Bosses told him that even saying “God bless” at work was unacceptable.
A recent Christian Institute report revealed the true extent to which Christians in Britain are being marginalised, often by equality and diversity laws.
The report, called Marginalising Christians, catalogues numerous cases of Christians being sidelined by public bodies, popular media and employers, and facing barriers to public funding.