New poll: Anti-Christian hostility set to rise in UK

Three quarters of churchgoers say the risk of anti-Christian persecution in the UK is greater than five years ago and 80 per cent expect it to get worse, a new survey shows.

And two thirds think there is more negative discrimination against Christians than any other faith group in the nation.

The poll was conducted by ComRes and the figures were released by Premier Christian Radio. Premier’s head, Peter Kerridge, said something must be done.

“When three out of four Christians have reported an increased risk of discrimination in the UK over the last five years, the message is clear. We, as a country, need to do more to support Christians living out their faith”, he said

He drew attention to comments made by the Prime Minister that people should not leave their faith behind in public life.

Mr Kerridge said: “Gordon Brown has said that those in official positions should not leave their faith at the door, I would like to know what he proposes can be done to make Christians feel less at risk of persecution when they do express their faith.”

Last February it came to light that Christian nurse Caroline Petrie had been suspended after she offered to pray for a patient’s recovery.

Also in February Jennie Cain, a school receptionist, was disciplined for sending a prayer email to church friends about her daughter.

In the same month it emerged that a Christian foster carer was struck off because she allowed a Muslim teenager in her care to convert to Christianity.

British Airways worker, Nadia Eweida, is currently fighting a legal battle with her employers because they told her to hide a cross she was wearing on a necklace.

At Islington Council, bosses ignored a registrar’s plea to have her Christian beliefs accommodated in the workplace. Instead, they ordered Lillian Ladele to perform homosexual civil partnership registrations against her will. She is taking her case to the Supreme Court.

And just last month Christian hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were in court charged with a public order offence for criticising Islam. The couple were found innocent.

In October it emerged that Christian grandmother, Pauline Howe, was verbally abused at a gay pride parade and then investigated by police for ‘homophobic hatred’ when she complained.

The Christian Institute has compiled a report cataloguing cases like these which highlight the marginalisation of Christians in the UK.

Public figures have spoken out in recent months saying that Christianity is being sidelined in the UK.

Poirot actor David Suchet said in November that “Christianity is being marginalised” in Britain.

In an interview with Woman’s Weekly magazine the star commented: “We are in danger of losing the importance of the Christian faith in our own country.”

In February Cherie Blair, the wife of Britain’s former Prime Minister, said: “Christians are often being marginalised and faith is something few people like to discuss openly”.

And Baroness Warsi, Tory spokeswoman on Community Cohesion, has pointed to “a growing intolerance and illiberal attitude towards those who believe in God.”

In a speech at last year’s Conservative Party conference she talked of those “who have hijacked the pursuit of ‘equality’ by demanding a dumbing down of faith.”

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