Sunday, March 18, 2007

Poll: Discrimination against Christians

One in three Christians claim to have suffered discrimination because of their religious views, according to a new poll.
The survey by the BBC shows unprecedented disquiet among church-going Britons amid claims they increasingly face prejudice in the media, the workplace and even in their own communities.

It follows a series of high-profile rows over unfair treatment towards Christians, including the case of the British Airways worker who was banned from wearing a crucifix, while Muslim employees were allowed to wear headscarfs.
A third of those polled by the BBC's religious programme Heaven And Earth, claim Christians experience discrimination in the way the media portrays them.
One in four said they thought they suffered discrimination in the workplace from colleagues.
And more than one in five said they thought Christians faced discrimination in their local communities.
It reflects a growing unease that Labour multiculturalism has led to ethnic minority faiths such as Islam and Hinduism being given special treatment.
Meanwhile, there is a fear that the historic importance of Christianity in British life has been pushed to the sidelines.
The BBC has itself been accused of blasphemy because of its decision to screen the controversial show Jerry Springer - The Opera, despite its profane portrayal of God and heaven.
Today's Heaven And Earth programme, presented by Gloria Hunniford, will focus on an example of Government prejudice against a Christian-run drug treatment centre.
Yeldall Manor in Berkshire offers successful residential treatment for young men addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The centre is run by evangelical Christians and the regime includes Bible study sessions and grace before meals.
However, their doors are open to addicts of all backgrounds.
William Hague praised its work when he was Tory leader.
But director Ken Wiltshire reveals how John Prescott's Office of the Deputy Prime Minister tried to cut their funding because they failed to meet Labour's 'equal opportunities' criteria.
He said: "We had been doing a good job helping former addicts move back into the community. So when we went for our routine review with officials we thought we would have no problems.
"But they kept asking us questions about why our staff were exclusively Christian and why there had to be a Christian component to our regime.
"There is no doubt there was prejudice against us because we are Christians. They think we are a bit odd."
Yeldall Manor kept its funding but only after a vigorous local campaign.
Recently, Church leaders launched an outspoken campaign against new Labour legislation that will force Christian adoption agencies to offer children to prospective parents who are homosexual.
Tory MP and prominent Roman Catholic Ann Widdecombe said:
"We should stand together and fight this discrimination. Christians are being marginalised, yet it is the established religion of this country."
The Rev Malcolm Duncan, of Christian campaigning group Faithworks, added:
"The Christian church is suffering more than all other faiths in the UK.
There is an aggressive secularist agenda that says it's OK to support any group ending in "ism" but not OK to support anything connected to Christianity."


Anonymous said...

The answer, at least in part is don't vote Labour.
No political party has done more to show its disdain for Christianity than Tony's Cronies.

Michael Petek said...

Is it because I is Christian?

nickbris said...

We are in danger of acting like an ethnic minority.A lot of this is stirring up trouble for no reason.Christians from Europe do not seem to have much trouble getting work.Right at this moment on TV they are ranting on,jumping on the band-wagon and generally causing trouble.

Anonymous said...

How can Christians claim that the govt is sidelining them when they have increased tax funding of Christian schools to 90%, allowed extremist fundamentalist/creationist teachings in schools, given unfair tax breaks to Christian religions that others do not receive, and now plan a massive increase in the number of faith schools, costing the tax-payer hundreds of millions of pounds? It wasn't very long ago that atheists were persecuted and prosecuted for their beliefs on a scale which frankly makes these claims of discrimination laughable and hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

The government does encourage faith schools but controls the faith that is taught. It sees the Church in terms of the service provider. It wants a Christless Christianity, the ethos without any of the hard teaching of Christ and his Church.

david said...

We are far from living in a Communist regime in which religion was effectively banned. I hope these measures will encourage Christians to stand for the truth and their rights. The main enemy is political correctness and we all have a duty to resist this corrosive philosophy of disimulation and cant. It encourages the indifference which the majority in this country have for religion in whatever form.

Dan said...

This is a problem that's affecting Europe as a whole. It started in Scandinavia and has slowly spread to the mainland, affecting all countries including Britain. Nothing can withstand it, except militant Islam. That might provide an unexpected bonus for Christianity because it could create an incentive to strengthen our faith and solidarity, as happened in eastern European countries during Communism. The danger for Catholics in this country is to become paranoid and fundamentalist, neither of which will achieve much. First we need to recover a fully Christocentric theology and spirituality in order to make us credible. Many European bishops have found that protesting in the name of authority achieves no positive results because it is ignored. Look at recent defeats here in Parliament. A more subtle srategy is needed which will lead to consolidation and stability. Unlike Islam, we won't resort to violence and that could be our strongest weapon, if I may use aggressive language. For the European average who accept secularism without being secularist, and retain a vague, but widely held, theism, the Church has to look credible before they will recognise its inherent truth. And that, I suspect, will only come about as a result of opposition and persecution.