When ‘diversity rules’ are used to justify suspending a nurse who offered to pray for a patient’s recovery, as happened to Caroline Petrie on 17 December 2008, something has gone very wrong in modern Britain. This report examines the growing marginalisation of Christians and catalogues cases of discrimination.
Acts of violence against members of the clergy are on the rise, a new Government-funded survey has revealed.
In the last two years, one in ten members of the Church of England clergy have been the victim of violent behaviour, with the same proportion saying they are experiencing more problems than two years ago.
More than 540 clergy took part in the survey.
Academics at Royal Holloway, University of London, also found that more than two thirds of clergy have been verbally abused, and one in five have experienced threatening behaviour.
Of these, more than a third have been threatened more than once.
Most of these threats were of direct physical harm, but 20 per cent received threats to a relative, and 35 per cent experienced threats of damage to church property.
Risk of violence
Nearly one in six respondents reported experiencing a rise in online abuse.
Professor of Sociology at Royal Holloway, Jonathan Gabe said: “The clergy have a difficult job, especially when faced with the risk of violence, as documented in our survey.
“The research suggests that further thought needs to be given as to how best to help clergy manage when faced with such violence.”
The Christian Institute’s 2009 publication ‘Marginalising Christians’ documented numerous incidents of crime and violence motivated by hostility to Christianity.