Caroline Farrow, a Catholic journalist, was investigated under the "malicious communications act" after the founder of a transgender charity accused her of misgendering her daughter in a tweet. Farrow said it is her religious belief that a person cannot change sex.
During the Court of Appeal hearing in the case of Felix Ngole, the University of Sheffield graduate student in social work who was dismissed from the program after he expressed his Christian views about marriage on Facebook, counsel for the university said no social worker should be allowed to express such views.
Police began a public order offense investigation on March 12th in Manchester after an angry individual screamed obscenities at elderly members of the 40 Days for Life group and sent chairs and leaflets flying outside an abortion clinic. A day earlier, in Nottingham, three people praying outside a medical centre were accosted by a man who swore at them and threw a jug of lumpy yellow liquid at them. Police began an investigation for assault as well as a hate crime motivated by the victims' religious beliefs.
St. Matthew's Church was badly damaged by a fire in the early morning hours of March 5th. The Lincolnshire police said it was intentionally set and treated it as an arson investigation. It appears the fire began in the shed adjacent to the church, and was one of several fires set in the town that evening.
New "relationships and sex education" (RSE) guidance published on February 25th requires schools to teach primary and secondary school children about LGBT relationships and may not permit parents to opt-out. Parents of primary school children are permitted to withdraw their children from the sex education component of RSE, but the relationships component would be mandatory.
On February 24th, swastikas, names, and arrows were discovered scratched on the stonework of the 800-year old Cathedral of Brechin in Angus, Scotland. A few days later, vandals carved "F*** you Jesus" on the building. Police opened an investigation and a group of juvenile girls were suspected to be responsible for the acts which were described by a church elder as "totally repulsive."
An elderly man preaching at the Southgate Underground Station was arrested by London police after he refused to leave the area, telling him he was "disturbing people's days" and needed to go away. The police seized the man's Bible despite his pleas not to take it.
West Midlands police investigated handwritten letters threatening petrol bomb attacks and mass stabbings sent to fifteen churches in the UK from November to January.
A British court has ruled that a pro-life activist may challenge a legal decision banning prayer and support for women in crisis pregnancies outside a Marie Stopes clinic.
Asher Samson, a Pakistani Christian who fought to stay in the UK after allegedly being beaten and repeatedly threatened with execution by Islamic extremists in Pakistan, was deported back to Pakistan on January 9th. Samson, backed by thousands of Christians, attempted to persuade the UK government to allow him to stay after being threatened with execution by Islamic extremists in his home country.
Thieves stole the lead roof of All Saints Church, which dates to 1390. During the course of the theft the thieves caused extensive damage to the stone parapet on the roof. The damage was estimated at tens of thousands of pounds.
The Thistles Shopping Centre in Stirling, Scotland refused requests from the Legion of St. Mary's Association to display a nativity scene in the mall, saying they "pride themselves on religious neutrality." Despite this official position, the mall heavily advertised a "Christmas Market."
Christian refugees from the Middle East are widely underrepresented in the United Kingdom. In 2017, 4,832 Syrians were accepted to the UK, however, only 11 were Christians. The Home Office has acknowledged that Christian refugees in the Middle East are “reluctant” to enter the UNHCR refugee camp system, but refuses to state this is because of persecution.
The Aberdeen University Students' Association (Ausa) prevented the affiliation of the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society, a pro-life student group. This means that the group would not be recognized as an official club of the University and thus would not be eligible to receive any funding for their events. The Ausa has an explicit pro-choice policy supporting "free, safe and legal access to abortion." The Life Ethics Society challenged the ban and accused the Ausa of censorship.
Firefighters were called to St Mary’s Church in Penzance at around 4am in the early hours of November 24th by the key holder and his wife after the alarm sounded. A bin had been placed in front of the church door and set on fire. Witnesses reported that the fire nearly spread into the interior of the church. Police were given the CCTV footage and began an investigation. Damages are estimated at up to £10,000.
The group "Glasgow Students for Life" were banned from becoming an official group by the Student' Representative Council (SRC) at Glasgow University. As a result, the student group would not have access to funding, meeting rooms, or a stall at the freshers fair. The president of the SRC said the decision had been made because the aims of the society did not align with the values of the council. "Given the SRC’s campaigning on a number of related social issues over the years, including support for the recent Repeal the 8th campaign in Ireland, it would be contrary to our ethos to endorse a society which calls for limited rights for women."
In November, several parents of children who were required to participate in a "Proud to be me" pride parade at the Heavers Farm Primary School in South East London threatened legal action. Despite numerous complaints from parents, they were informed that no opt-outs would be allowed. Parents, including Izoduwa Adhedo, reported that they were treated dismissively and victimized following their complaints. "I wasn't even trying to stop the Pride event. I just wanted my child to receive an education, rather than indoctrination," Adhedo said.
A church and war memorial were hit by vandals sometime on the 17th of November in Coatbridge. The graffiti included Republican slogans like "RIRA" (Real Irish Republican Army). The incident happened just a week after Armistice Day - the day the Allies and Germany signed the peace treaty ending the First World War.
Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row in Pakistan, was released from prison after the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned her sentence for “insulting the Prophet Mohammed.” Her acquittal led to unrest and riots among Pakistan's Muslim hardliners, prompting the government to try to prevent her from leaving the country. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, pleaded to the UK government: “I am requesting the Prime Minister of the UK help us and as far as possible grant us freedom.” The British government reportedly rejected this request for fear of civil unrest.
East Lothian (Scotland) Police investigated a case of vandalism at the Wallyford Livingroom Church. Vandals smashed a window by throwing stones.
Oxford students voted to ban Christian Concern from hosting its Wilberforce Academy residential conference at Lady Margaret Hall, calling the group a “real threat to the physical and mental safety of students.” The college, however, said it would permit the group to use its facilities provided that it paid for extra security. A college spokesperson said that Christian Concern's "opposition to abortion, Islam and LGBTQ+" rights would lead to protests so it needed to pay "additional security costs."
An anti-hate crime campaign One Scotland, launched in September 2018 by the Scottish police and government, includes a poster directed toward religious believers which reads (in part), “Dear Bigots, you can’t spread your religious hatred here. End of sermon. Yours, Scotland.” Other posters in the campaign were directed toward 'transphobes' and 'homophobes.' Critics of the campaign have noted that it singles out religious believers and calls them bigots without any qualification, and it is based on a political ideology which discriminates against those who hold traditional views.
Several incidents of theft and vandalism took place at the Church of St. Thomas and St. John in Radcliffe. Lead from the roof and railings from the disabled access ramp were stolen and the stonework on the ramp was hammered. Ropes installed to replace the railings were then cut. Garbage and waste was repeatedly dumped on the church property.
An "identified suspect" damaged several windows with rocks at the St. Barnabas Church in Kenilworth on the 18th of September, causing thousands of pounds in damage.
Student Unions in Manchester, Warwick, and Liverpool rejected the Life charity's application to appear at their Freshers' Fairs. The Warwick Students' Union rejected Life because its members "voted to adopt a pro-choice stance." Manchester said the Fair was an inappropriate platform, while Liverpool said the charity would not offer "impartial advice" to students. Life said its displays inform students that help is available if they get pregnant. The charity filed a complaint to the Office for Students (OfS) citing discrimination and restrictions on freedom of speech. It noted that the Chair of OfS had earlier promoted the protection of freedom of speech.
A man from Bristol whose membership to the Scout Association was cancelled took legal action, claiming he has been discriminated against on account of his Christian faith.
A man was arrested after four stained-glass windows were smashed and other property was damaged at Chester Cathedral. The incident occurred just after midnight on September 4th and money was stolen from the premises. The damage caused to the cathedral is likely to exceed £10,000. The Cathedral's acting dean said the damage to the four stained-glass windows which date back to 1920 was very upsetting, in particular, the damage caused to a window depicting St. Werburgh, the Patron Saint of Chester.
Officers are treating the spraying of abusive graffiti onto the wall of the landmark late on September 6th as a "religiously aggravated attack." The language used was "too offensive to be published," according to media sources.
An appellate court ordered a rehearing by immigration tribunals after Judge Lord Glennie, one of the appeal judges, found that the asylum judges had disregarded churchgoer's evidence of the Christian conversion of two Iranian asylum seekers who have been attending Tron Church in Glasgow and had been predisposed to rejecting their claims.
A 49-year-old man was charged on suspicion of arson in connection with two fires that were set in Edinburgh in the early hours of the 28th of August 2018. One fire was set with a petrol bomb at 5am at the Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Sheriff Brae, which is situated in the building of a former church, and the other was set at 7am at the Methodist Church in Junction Place. No one was injured, but the temple suffered smoke damage. The man is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, 30th of August 2018.
During the night between the 17th the 18th of August there was a spate of vandalism in west Suffolk. According to the police, the unknown perpetrator damaged St Mary's Church in the village Badwell Ash and several vehicles in the area. It is believed that the offender used an BB or pellet air rifle to smash the church windows as well as 12 vehicles parked in the village. The police continued their investigation.
Vandals damaged a CCTV camera from St. Mark's Parish Church in Raploch just one day after it was installed. The church had been subject to repeated acts of vandalism and a couple of CCTV cameras were installed in order to deter anti-social behavior. While one camera was damaged, the other cameras were already doing their job as they identified those responsible for the incident, enabling the police to trace them and take action.
After Vue Cinemas cancelled the screening of the film 'Voices of the Silenced' at the last minute in February, the film's producers launched a legal challenge against Vue. In August, Vue agreed to pay a nominal amount for breaching the contract. A spokesperson from Vue has said, however, that they stand by their decision of not screening the movie as it was "in direct conflict with its values." 'Voices of the Silenced' is a film by Christian organization Core Issues Trust about people who have left behind same-sex attraction practices.
A man was arrested after spraying graffiti on several buildings in Andover including St. Mary's Church where the anarchist symbol was painted on the church door and the number 666 was left in red on the steps outside. The incident is suspected to have taken place some time between the 8th of August and the early hours of the 10th of August.
An 18-year-old man was arrested for vandalizing St. John's Church in St. Peter Port on Guernsey. The church had been smeared with graffiti and notes with 'obscene' messages of 'religious hate' were left. The incident left the vicar and churchgoers upset. The police began an investigation.
Not a single Christian was among the 1,112 Syrian refugees resettled in the UK in the first three months of 2018. In response to a Freedom of Information request from Barnabas Fund, the UK Home Office released figures on Syrian refugees resettled in the UK for the first quarter of 2018. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) recommended 1,358 Syrian refugees for resettlement in the UK of which only 4 were Christians, representing a tiny fraction of just 0.29%. No Yazidis at all were recommended by the UN. The Home Office agreed to resettle 1,112 of these (82%), all of whom were Muslims, and approved no Christians.
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg's Somerset home was vandalized with graffiti, condoms were hung on a small cross in the garden, and a sex toy covered with a condom was stuck on a car. While the politician has been controversial for his support for Brexit, media reports indicate that police suspect the sexual items were meant to target Rees-Mogg's Catholic faith and opposition to birth control.
The Scottish Inspector of Crematoria, Robert Swanson, said in his annual report that demands for the removal of Bibles and crosses by humanists and other minorities are on the rise. The Humanist Society of Scotland has said failure to remove Christian symbols leaves their members “open to discrimination” under the Equality Act.
A Catholic priest in Glasgow has been removed as a university chaplain after hosting a rosary of reparation for the city’s gay pride parade. The July 16 Rosary service was held in response to a gay pride event in the city on July 14. After complaints from LGBT groups, University principal Pamela Gillies announced that “Following due consultation, Father Mark Morris will not return to his chaplaincy role at the university in September,” the BBC reported.
Thieves broke a lock and stole 21 ancient skulls from the ossuary crypt of St. Leonard's Church in Kent sometime between July 15th and 16th. The church, known as the "church with the bones" houses the largest bone collection in the UK, including 700 year old remains of the people who died in the Battle of Hastings.
Unknown vandals threw concrete through the window of St James the Great Church causing £500 worth of damage.
Bus ads promoting the September 2018 Franklin Graham "Lancashire Festival of Hope" at Winter Gardens Blackpool were pulled in response to criticism from LGBT communities. Graham, like many evangelicals, preaches the biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Dr David Mackereth was deemed "unfit" to work as an assessor at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over his refusal to use transgender patient's preferred pronouns because of his view that gender is defined by biology and that God made humans male and female. The Equality Act identifies those undergo or who propose to undergo gender reassignment as part of a protected class. Failure to use preferred pronouns is interpreted as unlawful discrimination.
Catholic priest Tom White was spat on twice as he greeting parishioners outside St. Alphonsus' Church after Mass at the same time that an 'Orange Walk,' a procession by a Protestant fraternal order, passed by. He was also hit with a baton and verbally abused. A spokesperson for the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has said that no one from the parade was involved. Police Scotland, who had been guarding the church but were called away before the parade passed by, began a hate crime investigation.
Vandals sprayed "YNWA", "truth", and "greed" on the historic St. Nicholas Church. The reverend called it "disrespectful" and said people were upset about the damage. She said that although youths had been congregating in the area for some time, and leaving garbage in the churchyard, this was first time they caused damage to the building.
The High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. High Court Judge Mark Turner said that Ealing Council in London was justified in creating a 328-foot exclusion zone to prevent any pro-life gathering or speech, including prayer, within 100 meters of the clinic. Two women plan to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
A report by the LGBT-rights organization Stonewall found that nearly 1 in 10 gay Christians have experienced bullying from other LGBT people because of their faith.
On June 21st, police condemned a continuous wave of vandalism against the Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man. A spokesman for the police said that vandals sprayed graffiti in different places around the cathedral over several days. A week earlier, a prominent sculpture was broken, and the lawn and other objects were damaged.
The Home Office has repeatedly rejected the asylum applications of a Christian family, who have been living in the UK for the past six years. They fear death if forced to return to Pakistan.
A Greek Orthodox Christian, noticed that the Palm Sunday cross which had been hanging outside her front door for many years had been ripped off when she left for work. It was scattered in pieces on her doormat. After reviewing security cameras, the family discovered that a food delivery driver had torn the cross down just before delivering food to the home. The homeowner reported the incident as hate crime and police began an investigation.
The Royal Infirmary of Dumfries and Galloway made the decision to remove Bibles from hospital rooms and social areas upon complaint that Christianity was given "preferential treatment".
One hundred sixty-one members of the British Parliament are demanding that Home Secretary Sajid Javid act on a proposal to introduce exclusion or "buffer zones” around abortion facilities, which would ban pro-life prayer, protest, and counseling of women conflicted about abortion.
Carrickmore Chapel in County Tyrone and St. Patrick's Cathedral in County Armagh, both in Northern Ireland, were targeted by vandals. The graffiti specifically mentioned Sinn Fein and its advocacy for repeal of the 8th amendment, ahead of the referendum on the issue in the Republic of Ireland. Police investigated reports of criminal damage to both churches.
After the Ealing local council voted to ban prayer vigils and protests outside an abortion clinic by issuing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) earlier in April, at least eight councils in the United Kingdom considered implementing abortion clinic "buffer zones."
Unknown vandals entered the kitchen of St Cyr's church in Stonehouse, breaking and damaging a serving hatch and stealing a fire extinguisher. As a result of a series of petty thefts, church managers made the decision to close the building when it is not being used for religious services or other social gatherings.
Shortly after 10 o'clock on the night of April 17th, the First Presbyterian Church in Newry, Northern Ireland suffered a vandalism attack in which one of its stained glass windows was damaged. The window had been repaired just weeks before this incident after vandals had damaged it earlier in the year.
A London local council voted unanimously on April 10th to ban pro-life vigils outside a local abortion center that have been taking place without incident for 23 years. The Ealing council voted to use a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to stop pro-life advocates from praying outside the Ealing Marie Stopes abortion clinic and offering help to women as they enter or exit the building. Pro-lifers must now stay 100 meters away from the abortion center. It will be the first "buffer zone" in the United Kingdom.
The Bishop of Paisley criticized BBC Scotland for encouraging anti-Catholic prejudice. It posted a short film entitled ‘Homophobia in 2018, Time for Love’ on its Facebook page which depicts a priest holding a Mini Cheddar in a parody of the Host, and giving it to a woman who makes the sign of the cross, with a voice-over saying, “tastes like cardboard and smells like hate.” Bishop Keenan described the content as “beyond the pale, and unworthy of the BBC as a public service broadcaster.” The Archdiocese of St. Andrew's and Edinburgh also criticized the video for suggesting that Christianity fosters public hatred toward homosexuals. It was also said that "recent government figures on crimes with religious aggravations showed that 57% of these are now directed to Catholics, an increase of 14%.
A woman in her 30s was stabbed after attending the Eritrean community's Orthodox Easter midnight service at St. Margaret's Church in Coventry early on the morning of April 8th. The mother of three was found with a puncture wound in the abdomen at approximately 3:15 in the morning and taken to the hospital where she was listed in critical condition. The attacker, who reportedly fled on a bicycle, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder the following day.
After graffiti appeared across Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire from February 21st and April 2nd, police arrested a 34-year-old man in connection with the incidents. Graffiti painted in red included messages such as "Allah reigns" on a church, "kill all white scum" on the famous Willen Peace Pagoda, and "evil white failures" and "rape and replace" on a memorial in a graveyard.
A man walked into St Mary’s Catholic Church, set a couple of small fires and attempted to burn the icon taken off the church’s altar. The perpetrator left a Satanic image in the icon's place. The act was recorded by CCTV cameras and police arrested a suspect days later.
In a vote that would create the second so-called "buffer zone" around an abortion clinic in the UK, the Richmond Council voted in favor of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) around a clinic run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. If it receives final approval at the next council meeting, the PSPO would make it a crime to hold prayer vigils near the clinic. The broadly-worded PSPO would also prohibit any form of interaction with staff or visitors to the clinic.
Following a one-day trial, an Employment Tribunal dismissed a discrimination claim by a Christian teacher who was fired for answering students’ questions about her Christian beliefs.
Manchester became the second local authority in England to vote to ban pro-life protests and prayer vigils outside clinics. Councillors in the city agreed on January 24th to "take all necessary actions within its powers" to stop what it said was the harassment by protesters against women using the clinics. After this vote, protests would not be banned, but the city will investigate whether a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is warranted.
Five major U.K. retailers were accused of using advertising or packaging offensive to Christians in as many months. Ocado, an online supermarket, Fortnum & Mason, a luxury goods retailer, the bakery chain Gregg's, Domino's pizza, and Lidl all faced criticism for insulting Christians or Christianity.
Pastor Paul Song was excluded from volunteering at a prison in Brixton, South London after Muslim Imam accused him of being too radical.
On December 21, 2017 the London Assembly passed a motion calling on the mayor to “clarify the powers available to [police] to arrest and prosecute” pro-life campaigners who pray near abortion clinics, accusing them of “obstruction, intimidation and harassment” and “threatening behavior.”
New government guidance by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) encourages schools to “ensure the visibility” of transgender perspectives in the classroom.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch posed the question to the British government: "Will they confirm unequivocally that a Christian who says that Jesus the only son of the one true God cannot be arrested for hate crime or any other offense?" The government's representative in the House of Lords refused to comment on the question.
On October 27, Felix Ngole, a Christian student who was expelled from university after posting on Facebook his support of Biblical teaching on marriage and sexual ethics, lost his case in a judicial review of the university’s decision.
A Christian who was dismissed as a Magistrate by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice, after expressing his view that it was in a child's best interests to be raised by a mother and a father, lost his case in a Employment Tribunal claiming discrimination, harassment and victimization against an NHS Trust after being blocked from returning to his role as a non-executive director.
Tajamal Amar, a 45-year-old Pakistani Christian man, was beaten and left unconscious outside a restaurant. He reported that he was attacked by a group of Muslims who objected to him displaying a cross in his car and two large red poppies on the front of his car.
After a parents' group complained about a Christian charity's "fundamentalist approach" in discussions of sin, St. John's Church of England Primary School in Tunbridge Wells agreed to block CrossTeach from running assemblies or giving lessons. The campaign also demands the removal of crosses, Bibles and clergy from Church of England school assemblies.
A Balliol College student group at Oxford banned the Christian Union from its freshers’ fair on the grounds that it would be "alienating" for students of other religions, and constitute a "micro-aggression." They further claimed that Christianity was used as "an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism" and that students might feel "unwelcome" if the Christian Union had a stall. After being reprimanded, organizers agreed that the Christian Union could participate in future fairs.
B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, meaning "in the year of the Lord"), have been replaced with B.C.E., which stands for Before Common Era, and C.E., meaning Common Era. The changes were justified "to show sensitivity to those who are not Christians."
A Christian five-year-old girl was placed into foster care with a Muslim family in London. Confidential local authority reports suggest that the foster family removed the girl's Christian cross necklace, suggested she learn Arabic, and forbade her from eating pork. In addition, It was alleged that when she had a visit with her biological mother, the girl said that Christmas was “stupid” and European women are “stupid alcoholics”. The court having jurisdiction ruled on August 29, 2017 that the girl should be placed with her grandmother.
A Christian prison worker has lost his latest appeal in the courts over his discipline by HMP Littlehey. Rev Barry Trayorn who worked as a gardener, but volunteered in the chapel, fell into trouble after delivering a talk to prisoners about homosexuality and sin. Following a complaint, he was disciplined then later resigned. In 2016, an employment tribunal ruled that his employers acted within the law. A judge confirmed in August 2017 that ruling was fair, claiming his words could "legitimise mistreatment of homosexual prisoners." Trayhorn will take his case to the Court of Appeal.
Justine Greening, who is also Education Secretary, said churches and other religious groups should “keep up” with public opinion on same-sex marriage.
Christian schools may soon be required to ensure that half of their students are from different religious backgrounds, due to concerns that Christian-only schools "heighten community divisions."
The Barnabas Fund has highlighted a Wilton Park (an executive agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) report from 2016 in which it describes biblical sexual morality as 'hateful' and evangelical Christians in prejudicial terms. A key recommendation of the report is "challenging the interpretation of sacred texts."
Zana Hassan interrupted a Sunday afternoon church service in Barnard Castle, County Durham on July 9, 2017 “shouting and swearing.” After being arrested by police, he threatened to “kill all the English,” making references to the war in Iraq. He was later convicted of a racially aggravated offense.
Anti-Christian messages were scrawled on three different areas of St. Edythe’s Church, the oldest church in Tamworth by unknown vandals. The ancient doors and walls were tagged with statements such as “Lucifer runs this capitalist ruin,” “God has failed,” and “deliver us to evil.” Reverend Alan Gordon and the church community were devastated that the church was targeted by this vandalism.
The ISIS supporter Akeem Samuels has been sentenced to jail for four years by a court in the United Kingdom. Akeem Samuels posted videos on Instagram where he encouraged terror attacks on Christians.
A Christian prison worker who felt he had no option but to resign after being disciplined for quoting from the Bible during a prison chapel service, will challenge an Employment Tribunal's ruling that the prison was right to discipline him. In March 2016, the Employment Tribunal ruled that Barry Trayhorn spoke of God's forgiveness in an "insensitive" way which "failed to have regard for the special nature of the congregation in the prison".
Felix Ngole was expelled from the University of Sheffield in 2016 for writing a post on his private Facebook page in which he quoted Leviticus stating that homosexuality was sinful. Deputy High Court Judge James Lewis has allowed Ngole to take his case to the High Court in London and a ruling is expected after a trial this fall.
St Michael’s Church outside Longford was due to open its doors for Easter Sunday Mass when the break-in was discovered. The church window was broken and the altar was severely damaged. Several items were stolen, including the tabernacle.
A social worker from Kent met with parents who were considering placing their child for adoption and told them the chances of their son being adopted would be hindered if he were “christened into the Christian faith,” after they expressed their wish to have their son baptized.
The Church of England accused the National Trust of “airbrushing” Christianity out of Easter festivities, after it renamed “Easter Egg Trail” as the “Great British Egg Hunt.” Cadbury, which sponsors the event, said it wanted the event to appeal to non-Christians, saying: “We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats.” The Prime Minister said “[Easter is] a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world. So I think what the National Trust is doing is frankly just ridiculous.”
Freedom of Information inquiries made by the Network of Sikh Organisations revealed that the London Metropolitan Police recorded 1,227 incidents of Islamophobic hate crime in 2016, but in 57 of these incidents the victim was not contacted, in 86 the religion of the victim was unknown, and 85 of the reported cases were ‘blank’. 19 Hindus, 11 atheists, 43 Christians and four Sikhs were victims.
Aberdeen University students petitioned to have a pro-life poster removed from campus, claiming it was “actively harmful” to women. The Catholic chaplaincy on the campus displayed posters for a 40 Days of Life event, featuring people holding signs and prayer vigils outside the city’s maternity hospital during Lent.
Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell were convicted on February 28, 2017 after a public prosecutor claimed that quoting parts of the King James Bible in the context of modern British society "must be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter". After a four-day trial, the men were found guilty under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, for using "threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, thereby, and the offence was religiously aggravated."
The government announced that sex and relationships education will become compulsory in all of England's schools. Relationships education will be compulsory for all pupils from the age of four years, but parents will have the right to withdraw their children from sexual education program. Critics view the law as weakening the influence of parents' right to educate their children about sex and relationships.
A trainee Church of England priest at Oxford University, an Iranian-born convert from Islam, claimed he wasn’t allowed to ask critical questions about Islam during a seminar and has accused the university of discrimination and bias and made a formal complaint.
In May 2017, the British Pharmaceutical Council published new professional standards, stating that pharmacists would have to “take responsibility for ensuring that person-centred care is not compromised because of personal values and beliefs.” The previous conscience "opt-out" provisions were removed. Previously, a pharmacist who did not wish to issue an abortifacient drug could refer the patient to another colleague. In June 2017, the Council developed new guidance called “In practice: Guidance on religion, personal values and beliefs.” This guidance made clear that in some circumstances, pharmacists were expected to dispense a drug against his or her conscience.
The group made the recommendation to a parliamentary inquiry to examine how to reduce the size of the Upper House. The House of Lords currently has more than 850 members, and the Bishops' Bench contains two archbishops and 24 bishops who can vote on legislation.
The British Humanist Association sent a letter to the BBC demanding that its publicly-funded "Thought for the Day" Radio 4 program, which includes reflections from Christians and other faiths, also include non-religious speakers.
The Church of the Ascension in Salford was completely destroyed by a fire which was described as arson by police. It was built in 1869 and had recently undergone a £250,000 restoration with funds raised over three years. CCTV footage reportedly shows a young man running from the church at the time the fire broke out.
The National Health Service has confirmed, in response to a question from a Member of Parliament, that it does not collect information on instances of discrimination against NHS staff on the basis of their faith.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office ordered Susan Preston to stand down from hearing future family cases, after she declined to sit on a case involving same-sex parenting due to her personal views.
Aisling Hubert, who began criminal proceedings against two doctors who were filmed offering 'gender-abortion', went to court to challenge £36,000 of the costs that were awarded against her after she tried to bring two 'gender-abortion' doctors to justice. The judge said he could not amend or reduce the costs. Instead a settlement was reached for the amount Aisling has to pay. She now has until 18 August to pay the agreed amount.