Congress members alert US Govt to ‘harassment’ of UK Christians

Christians in the UK face an “existential” threat to their basic freedoms, US legislators have warned.

Congressman Chip Roy, in a letter to the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, said the UK is “on an unsettling path” to “state-sanctioned harassment of Christians”.

Backed by seven colleagues from the House of Representatives, Roy raised concerns about the impact of censorship zones around abortion clinics on free speech and religious freedom.

Freedoms violated

Roy told Ambassador Rashad Hussain that Public Spaces Protection Orders in the UK, designed to silence any “perceived disapproval of abortion” around clinics, permitted the “prosecution of Christians” for “simply expressing their pro-life and religious views”.

an unsettling path to state-sanctioned harassment of Christians

He cited the cases of Isabel Vaughan-Spruce and Roman Catholic priest Sean Gough, who were both arrested for praying in a censorship zone, as “specific examples of the British government’s violation of religious freedom”.

“Even more disturbing”, he added, “Parliament is considering legislation that would implement these anti-religious-freedom censorship zones around abortion facilities across all of England and Wales”.

The letter concluded by urging the Ambassador to raise such “creeping restrictions” with his counterparts in the UK.

England and Wales

Last year, MPs gave their backing to the introduction of censorship zones around abortion clinics in England and Wales.

An amendment to the Government’s Public Order Bill to outlaw the offering of prayer and advice to women outside of abortion clinics was accepted by 297 votes to 110. Under the proposals, anyone found guilty of breaching the rules could face six months in prison.

The nationwide proposals could also include private residences and even churches close to a clinic, meaning pro-life posters or adverts could not be displayed if they can be seen from the street.

Also see:

Magistrates clear pro-lifers of all charges

‘Silent prayer’ charges dropped against Roman Catholic priest

Solemn witness to ‘10 million lives extinguished by abortion’

Related Resources