Christians feel marginalised and pushed out of public life while other faiths are handled with kid gloves, according to a flagship BBC documentary aired on Easter Sunday.
Watch on BBC iPlayer (available until Sunday 11 April 2010)
The film was fronted by Nicky Campbell and featured two cases backed by The Christian Institute: Lillian Ladele, the registrar disciplined for her stance on civil partnerships, and Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, the Christian hoteliers charged with a crime for criticising Islam.
Simon Calvert on BBC Radio 5 Live
The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert debates the issue with Nicky Campbell and Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society
The hour-long programme, called “Are Christians Being Persecuted?”, investigated widespread claims that Christianity is being sidelined in modern Britain.
A poll conducted for the documentary showed that 44 per cent think Britain has become less tolerant of religion.
Mr Campbell concluded the documentary asking: “So, are Christians being persecuted? No they’re not being tortured or killed like Christians in Pakistan and the Sudan.
“But a minority believes they are being sidelined and victimised. By the standards of a liberal society that can feel like persecution.”
Local authorities were criticised for rebranding Christmas celebrations as ‘winter festivals’ in a misguided attempt to be multi-faith.
The programme also examined the recent debates on the Equality Bill, a Bill that many Christians feel will make matters worse.
Last month seven Anglican bishops, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, wrote to a national newspaper saying Christian beliefs on marriage, conscience and worship are being ignored by UK laws.
Last year The Christian Institute published a report called “Marginalising Christians” examining many of the same issues raised by the BBC documentary.