All cases

Filtered by: Country: United Kingdom

St Stephen and All Martyrs entrance vandalised

February 18, 2024, United Kingdom

The stone pinnacles from a church gate were stolen on the weekend of the church's 180th anniversary.

Christian Neurologist Cleared after a three-year investigation for 'pro-life values'

February 9, 2024, United Kingdom

Rev. Dr. Patrick Pullicino, a neurologist and Catholic priest has been vindicated by the General Medical Council (GMC) after a three-year investigation for allegedly giving a bias opinion due to his 'pro-life values'.

Police investigation of Christian preacher over 'hate-crime complaints'

February 6, 2024, United Kingdom

Metropolitan Police officers have been filmed threatening to arrest a Christian preacher over allegations of a breach of a Public Space Protection Order. A video posted on social media showed a group of at least five officers demanding the names of evangelists due to allegations of a hate crime after they had been preaching and reading from the Bible.

Woman harassed by Metropolitan Police for Publicly Signing Gospel Songs

January 28, 2024, United Kingdom

Harmonie London was performing in London's Oxford Street when a Metropolitan Police special constable told her: “No, miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way”.

Thieves Steal Cross and Statutes from Salford Church

January 22, 2024, United Kingdom

A statue of Jesus on a crucifix was stolen from outside a church using an electric saw. Along with a kneeling angel and a kneeling figure of St Bernadette.

Teaching Assistant Wins Legal Case After Being Fired for Street Preaching

January 12, 2024, United Kingdom

In March 2022, Andy Nix, 65, was called to the headteacher's office from Temple Moor High School and interrogated about his street preaching in the summer of 2021. This happened after some students complained that his street preaching made them feel "unsafe". He was fired on the spot and had to leave the school premises immediately. Supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), Mr Nix took legal action against the school claiming harassment, discrimination and a breach of his right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Now, the school decided to settle the case and pay him £7,000 in compensation instead of going to trial.

Windows of St Jame's Church repeatedly smashed

January 5, 2024, United Kingdom

The stained galss windows of St James's Church in west London have been repeatedly smashed accross five nights. In total, they have been broken through 16 times. In some cases the panes have been damaged, in others they have been completely destroyed.

Arson attack on St John the Evangelist church

January 1, 2024, United Kingdom

Fire was set on St John the Evangelist church in Enfield. Forty firefighters were needed to extinguish the fire. It has been confirmed by the police that this was an arson attack. The fire started by the high altar and damaged stained-glass windows and artefacts.

Woman forced off public street by police while praying

December 18, 2023, United Kingdom

Livia Tossici-Bolt, a 63-year old charitable volunteer, has filed a complaint against officers who forced her off a public street where she was peacefully praying and holding a sign. While the officers accused her of breaching the local "buffer zone" legislation, Mrs. Tossici-Bolt was actually not standing within the zone, as video evidence confirms.

Cumbrae Church's Nativity Scence Vandalised

December 16, 2023, United Kingdom

A Christmas nativity scene at Cumbrae Parish Church was vandalised in Millport. Among other damages, the figure of Mary had been beheaded. The church community is shocked about the incident.

Ethical Review of Euthanasia in Jersey Disregards 'Indirect Conscientious Objection'

November 7, 2023, United Kingdom

An ethical review by medical law experts has been conducted in Jersey to assess the implications that the approval of euthanasia, "Assisted Dying" (AD), would have on the island. While noting the necessity of several limitations to euthanasia based on ethical issues, the experts stated that conscientious objection should not be granted to everyone, excluding people not directly involved in the death, such as receptionists or drivers.

Christian worker fired after refusing to work during church's Sunday service

November 5, 2023, United Kingdom

Former employee of Sainsbury's Jacqueline Rendell is suing the supermarket chain for "unfair dismissal" alleging she was fired for refusing to work on Sunday mornings so she could attend Sunday services at church. She claims the supermarket chain fired her because she refused demands to work every Sunday morning.

Scottish MP says she left her party after being 'unwelcome as a Christian'

October 25, 2023, United Kingdom

Scottish MP Dr Lisa Cameron shared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour how she had felt marginalised in the Scottish National Party (SNP) because of her Christian faith and pressured to vote against her convictions. Now defected to the Conservative Party, Dr Cameron voted against the 2020 new abortion regime for Northern Ireland and disagreed with bills which sought to legalise assisted suicide in England and Wales.

Christian Preacher Faces up to Six Months in Prison for Holding Sign with Bible Verse

October 17, 2023, United Kingdom

Christian preacher, Stephen Green, 72, was tried in court on October 17, for allegedly having protested against abortion within a 'buffer zone' surrounding MSI Reproductive Choices clinic in Mattock Lane, West London on February 6, 2023. Green was quietly holding a sign with a Bible verse from Psalm 139:13 written on it, which reads: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb". Appearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, Green pleaded not guilty to breaking the public spaces protection order (PSPO). According to the Mail Online, Mr. Green's charge sheet accuses him of "[protesting] by engaging in an act of disapproval or attempted act of disapproval with respect to issues related to abortion services, by written means in that you were holding a large sign displaying the text ‘Psalm 139:13 (...) relating directly or indirectly to the termination of pregnancy."

Criminal Damage Caused to Church in Hereford

October 15, 2023, United Kingdom

On October 15, a group vandalized St. Francis Xavier Church in Hereford. A group of youths meddled with the microphone, threw lit candles around the room and spit on the altar. The church priest, Father Thomas, said that security must be tightened because of this incident. Before, the church had been open at any time of the day so churchgoers could come to pray or light a candle. The police are still investigating the situation.

Graveyard Vandalized at Peterborough Cathedral

October 9, 2023, United Kingdom

Vandals targeted a burial ground at Peterborough Cathedral on October 9 between 6 PM and 7 PM. A metal obelisk was kicked over, grave markers were turned upside down and labels identifying various types of flowers were ripped off. The Cathedral gardening team is attempting to repair the damage, and police have launched an investigation.

Christian Secondary School Teacher Fired after Refusing to Teach 8-Year-Old Pupils Gender and Sexual Identities

October 9, 2023, United Kingdom

Glawdys Leger, 43, taught modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus Church of England School until May, 2022 when she was fired for refusing to teach her 7 and 8-year-old pupils about gender and sexual identities. The teacher was reported by a student and subsequently fired for "gross misconduct" after an investigation and disciplinary hearing. Shortly after, she received a letter from the Teaching Regulation Agency that allegedly her teaching conduct had been "contrary to fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs." Leger, on the other hand, says that she "cannot, in good conscience, teach or say things I believe are contrary to my faith." Leger's hearing is due to commence in Coventry on October 9, 2023.

Church in Cleethorpes Set on Fire

October 5, 2023, United Kingdom

On October 5, Beaconthorpe Methodist church was set on fire. Firefighters were immediately called to the scene. No one was injured in the fire. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire and have been released on bail while the investigation continues.

Church on Isle of Portland, Dorset Set on Fire

October 2, 2023, United Kingdom

Emergency services were called to St. Peter's Church on Portland on the evening of October 2, 2023 due to a fire in the church. Police have said a local youth is assisting them with enquiries about how the fire began. The fire at the historic site, which is more than 150 years old, is believed to be deliberate. According to the police, security measures will be needed to prevent this kind of anti-social behaviour.

UPDATE: UK Home Secretary Clarifies that "Silent Prayer" is not Unlawful

September 8, 2023, United Kingdom

The Home Secretary of the UK has now clarified that “silent prayer, within itself, is not unlawful” in a letter for the police forces across the country. This statement comes in response to many months of controversy over "buffer zones" outside abortion facilities that have led to the arrest of several citizens for praying silently in their minds inside a buffer zone.

Gilded Statue Stolen from Church in Denbighshire

September 5, 2023, United Kingdom

A 252-year-old statue of a pelican has been stolen from St Dyfnog Church in Llanrhaedr, Denbighshire. The 0.6 meter gilded statue was stolen between August 22 and September 5. The carving, which has been hanging in the church for at least 100 years, was situated next to the altar in the church. The North Wales Police are investigating the theft.

Church in Bodmin Closed to Visitors after Repeated Vandalism

September 1, 2023, United Kingdom

St. Petroc's Church in Bodmin was opened to visitors outside of services but on September 1 the church announced that it has been forced to close because of repeated vandalism. A spokesperson of the church said that it hoped to reopen to visitors in time, and that it was working with the police on the issue.

Medieval Stone Cross Stolen from Church in Lincolnshire

August 19, 2023, United Kingdom

A medieval stone cross was taken from St. John The Baptist Church in Great Carlton between 1:45 and 7:30 PM on August 19. The cross had been described as "priceless to the church in historical terms". The police are still searching for information and for the perpetrator.

Windows at Village Church in Gullane Smashed

August 12, 2023, United Kingdom

On the night of August 12, the windows were smashed at the church of St. Adrian's in Gullane. The Rev Simon Metzner stated that there had been reports of youths drinking and smashing bottles in the area. He was unsure of the cost of the damage but stressed that police were looking into the issue.

UPDATE: Councillor Supporting Christian Councillor's Freedom of Speech Now Faces Criminal Investigation

August 8, 2023, United Kingdom

On August 8, Wellingborough Town Councillor Anthony Stevens, 50, was searched in his house in front of his wife and children, taken to the Kettering police station, and heavily questioned, for posting tweets from his personal account supporting the case of Christian Councillor King Lawal. King Lawal faced suspension as a Councillor, investigations and other forms of cancelling and discriminatory treatment for tweeting that "Pride" is a sin in June 2023. Mr Lawal launched a petition, which has been signed by over 26,000 people, calling on the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Greg Hands, to intervene in his behalf. Cllr Stevens shared the petition and tweeted in support of Cllr Lawal saying: ‘If you value free speech please sign and share’. Officers showed Cllr Stevens his tweets and asked him why he supported the petition. Cllr Stevens stated that he is a free speech absolutist and that even if he does not agree with someone, he believes in their right to express their beliefs. Cllr Stevens was released on bail, his mobile phone was seized to be searched for further evidence. He is required to surrender himself at Kettering police station on November 1. He has made a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct regarding his treatment.

High Court Reinstates Christian Governor Dismissed for Questioning School's Sex-Education Policy

August 0, 2023, United Kingdom

A Christian governor and mother who was dismissed for raising concerns with the trans-affirming sex-education policy at her children's primary school has been reinstated by the High Court. The mother, who was granted anonymity by the Court in order to protect her children, reached a legal settlement with the school after being kicked off its Governing Body for pointing to legal errors in its Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policy. She first raised her concerns with fellow governors in March 2021. She pointed out that the Gateshead School's RSE policy could be unlawful, and shortly later, she was accused by the school managers of opposing their "collective decision." She was removed as governor in June 2022. The High Court recognized that the decision to remove her was unlawful and she was reinstated in August 2023.

UK: Man has his job offer rescinded after Company learns about his Christian Beliefs

July 14, 2023, United Kingdom

Felix Ngole, a Christian social worker, had a job offer by Touchstone Support withdrawn after the company found out that he won a free speech case over his Christian views. He says: “The reasons they gave for withdrawing the job offer were an attack on me and my faith." Ngole is now taking Touchstone to an employment tribunal.

Paving Slabs Stolen from Historic Church in Llandovery

July 13, 2023, United Kingdom

Paving slabs, including a distinctive large blue piece of slate, have been stolen from St. Mary's Church in Llanfair-ar-y-Brun. The church warden discovered the theft on July 13. The vicar, Paul Pritchard, said that replacing the slabs would be difficult, given they already did not have sufficient funds to repair a collapsed wall at the church.

UK: Parents Could face Prosecution For Refusing To use their Children's Preferred Pronouns

July 7, 2023, United Kingdom

The New Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales has published a new Trans Equality Statement that defines forms of abuse towards trans victims, including "withholding money for transitioning", "refusing to use their preferred name or pronoun" or "Body shaming or criticising the victim for not being 'a real man/woman' if they have not undergone reassignment surgery." It also states that these actions can be considered as domestic abuse by family members and partners. Therefore, the CPS guidance makes parents vulnerable to prosecution, if they do not agree with transgender children.

Research Study shows Christian students' Perceptions of religious freedom in UK Universities

June 30, 2023, United Kingdom

In a recent study by four universities focusing on religious experiences among university students showed that, although the majority of students perceived a diverse and open atmosphere to different religions, there was still a small percentage (10%) of students that felt pressured to withhold their beliefs. Christian students emerged prominently as one of the most affected religious groups, facing challenges and unique perceptions within secular academic environments.

UK Survey Highlights Christian Students Being Silenced on University Campus

June 30, 2023, United Kingdom

A survey by Coventry University has detected varying levels of silencing among Christian students sharing experiences of prejudice and discrimination. Among students of other religions, Christian students stand out as feeling pressured to change their worldview.

New Sex-Ed Legislation in Northern Ireland Threatens Freedom of Religion

June 28, 2023, United Kingdom

On the 28th of June, 2023, the UK government voted to introduce a new mandatory curriculum on sex and abortion in Northern Ireland, which includes education on the prevention of early pregnancy and how to access an abortion. This legislation has met with worry about the freedom of conscience and religion in Northern Ireland. Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: "This legislation will likely put teachers and parents who oppose abortion in a very difficult situation.”

Lead Stolen from Roof of Richmond Church

June 20, 2023, United Kingdom

Thieves caused damage to St. Mary's church on the night of June 20 while trying to steal lead. Unknown individuals went onto the roof and stole lead. It was not specified how much the damage will cost in repairs. Similar incidents have been occurring in Richmondshire over the past weeks. It has not been reported if an investigation was launched, but the people of the church are urged to be cautious.

Northamptonshire Councillor Cancelled and Suspended for Tweet About Pride

June 19, 2023, United Kingdom

Christian Councillor King Lawal, who has been a councillor at North Northamptonshire Unitary Council for two years, was cancelled by seven organizations and suspended by the Conservative party pending an investigation over his tweets. His tweets commented on an LGBT pride parade that included naked men illegally parading through the streets in front of children. On June 19, he tweeted: "When did Pride become a thing to celebrate? Because of Pride Satan fell as an archangel. Pride is not a virtue but a sin." On the same day he posted the tweet, he was contacted by the leader of North Northamptonshire Unitary Council who told him that he was suspended for 21 days pending an investigation. On July 3, a local authority that held a substantial council contract with Cllr Lawal's family business ordered an urgent meeting. The family business was told that unless Cllr Lawal was removed immediately as director, their contract would be withdrawn. Under potentially illegal pressure, Cllr Lawal resigned from his own company. Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Cllr Lawal instructed his lawyers to prepare legal action alleging multiple violations of his rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. On October 26, at a full council meeting, Cllr Lawal was reinstated. After being suspended for 3 months, Cllr Lawal said he was "relieved" but the Conservative party had still not dropped the complaint against him.

Mary Figure Beheaded at Church in Braunton

June 11, 2023, United Kingdom

Vandals took the head off a statute of Mary which stood outside St. Brannock Catholic Church in Braunton. They threw the torso into the consecrated shallow well and wedged her head into a nearby wall. Mrs. Smith-Bingham, who lives close the the church, stated: "I heard some noise on Sunday (June 11), and when my husband went to look, he noticed this had happened (...).The community should be made aware that a religious hate crime has been reported to the police. There has been petty vandalism in the area for the last 18 months or so, but this is on a different scale." Damage was also caused to the church door, and police are investigating the criminal damage.

Priest's Chair Stolen from Church in Cransford

June 10, 2023, United Kingdom

Between 8 AM on June 9 and the evening of June 10, a Mendlesham Priest Chair was stolen from St. Peter's Church in Cransford. A spokesperon for Suffolk police said: "Local communities are urged to vigilant of any suspicious activity around churches and report anything of conern to the police.

Valuables Stolen from Church in Bournemouth

June 9, 2023, United Kingdom

A number of distinctive items have been stolen from St. Stephen's Church in Bournemouth, with police releasing a CCTV image of a suspect. The man was seen on the camera footage on June 9 at 9:30 AM. It was reported that he stole a silver sanctuary lamp, a decorative gold palm leaf and a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. A private area of the church was also broken into and a number of items were damaged. The police have not arrested the man and are continuing their search.

Thieves Smash Window and Steal Candlestick from Sussex Church

June 2, 2023, United Kingdom

A suspect entered St. Mary the Virgin Church in Littlehampton, Sussex the night between June 1 and June 2. Damage was caused to a window and a candlestick was stolen. Officers attended the scene and an investigation is now underway.

Graveyard and Church Defaced in Blackfairs Walk

May 25, 2023, United Kingdom

Vandals targeted the Auld Kirk of Ayr in Blackfriars Walk on the evening of May 25. Grave stones were painted, rude imagery was drawn over stained glass windows and profanity was written on an iron gate. Historic stonework, as well as a welcome sign featuring a picture of King Charles III was vandalized with red spray paint. The incident is being investigated by Ayr Police.

Update: Landmark Case Bans Christian Teacher for Misgendering a Transgender Pupil

May 23, 2023, United Kingdom

On May 23rd, a ruling by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in the UK banned Christian Joshua Sutcliffe from teaching altogether, after he failed to treat his pupils "with dignity and respect" by misgendering a transgender boy. This case is the first of its kind in the UK and has become international news. It goes back to 2017, when the former maths teacher at the Cherwell School in Oxford, said "well done girls" to a group of girls, where one was a transgender boy - and he later apologized. Sutcliffe was later also accused of inappropriately sharing his Christian beliefs.

British Man Admits Plotting to Murder Street Evangelist Hatun Tash

May 19, 2023, United Kingdom

A 21-year-old British man, Edward Little, has pleaded guilty to preparing to commit acts of terrorism in an attack against the evangelist Hatun Tash in 2022. Little was found carrying £5,000, with which he planned to buy a firearm to kill Hatun Tash at the Speaker's Corner, a place for public debates where she frequently debates and preaches. He refused the allegations at first, but on the May 19, 2023 he admitted to planning the murder back on September 23, 2022.

Teacher dismissed for 'hate speech' after being encouraged to share his Christian beliefs

May 12, 2023, United Kingdom

A teacher in Wales, Ben Dybowski, was encouraged to express his Christian beliefs at a seminar and was subsequently fired for "hate speech", according to the Daily Mail. The school claims that there is no evidence that his assignment was ended on the basis of his religious beliefs. The teacher said that he was prompted to share his opinions during a mandatory training session organised by the charity Diverse Cymru to instruct teachers on "workforce diversity practice, unconscious bias and gender awareness." He later commented that: "We were told it was a safe space and encouraged to speak freely."

Teacher Faces dismissal for Questioning 'Gender Transition' Advice from LGBTQ+ NGO to 8-year-old kid

May 12, 2023, United Kingdom

A Christian primary school teacher who questioned Stonewall and Mermaids' recommendations to support a "gender transition" of an 8-year-old student without providing any supporting medical data has lost her job and is the subject of numerous regulatory body inquiries. She is being supported by the organisation Christian Concern to contest against her dismissal due to discrimination based on her religion.

Organ Pipes Stolen From Sussex Church

May 12, 2023, United Kingdom

Organ pipes were stolen and the organ of the St John The Divine Church in Patching, England, was damaged on the night of the May 12 to 13, 2023. The theft is expected to cost thousands of pounds to repair or replace.

UPDATE: Christian Mayoral Candidate Wins Legal Case After Being Fired For alleged "Hate Speech"

April 30, 2023, United Kingdom

In 2022, Maureen Martin, who was campaigning to become a mayor in London was sacked by her housing association employer for stating publicly that she believed in marriage between men and women. She was accused of gross misconduct for leading a "discriminatory" campaign. In April 2023, she won substantial damages following a legal challenge against her dismissal by the London & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q). She was supported by the NGO Christian Concern.

Damages at Church in Beccles

April 22, 2023, United Kingdom

St. Michael's Church in Beccles was targeted by vandals who damaged stones and moved fences. Suffolk Police said the incident occurred at some point between April 17 and 22. Damage was caused to the stonework, including to the patio terrace slabs, and safety fences were moved that were in position to safeguard and protect an area on the ground where loose stone masonry may fall from the church. The police closed the case pending further investigative opportunities. No arrests were made and no suspects were identified.

St Michael's Church vandalized in Suffolk

April 17, 2023, United Kingdom

Between April 17 and 22, the St Michael's Church in Beccles was vandalised. Perpetrators caused damage to the masonry, to the stonework, including to the patio terrace slabs, and safety fences were moved. The Suffolk police was informed and are looking for the perpetrators.

Explosives used to steals thousands of pounds of sacred silver

April 14, 2023, United Kingdom

Tens of thousands of pounds worth of chalices and sacred items have been stolen from the Lady Saint Mary's Church in Wareham after thefts broke into the church and blew up the safe on April 14. Explosives were used for the break-in and at least 25 pieces of communion silver, including a 450-year-old Elizabethan chalice worth 30,000 pounds, were stolen. The police suspects this gang of thieves has been targeting churches across the UK.

30 Gravestones Vandalized In Church Cemetery near London

April 12, 2023, United Kingdom

Over three nights on April 12, 13, and 14, in Croydon, thirty gravestones have been destroyed with a sledgehammer - some graves were dating back 500 years, at a Grade I listed church. «The church is appealing for witnesses along with police who are trying to find out who took a sledgehammer to the graves. »

Valuable Silver Sacred Objects stolen from a Rural Church

March 19, 2023, United Kingdom

On the night of March 19th, burglars stole valuable silver items in a church from a rural parish in East Devon in Sidmouth. The police are looking for witnesses. On Twitter, pictures show that the objects were chalices, host holders and other tools for the celebration of Mass.

GOOD NEWS: England & Wales Police must defend freedom of expression even if controversial

March 13, 2023, United Kingdom

A new code of practice on Non-Crime Hate Incidents (NCHI) introduced to UK Parliament in March clarifyies that simply causing offence is not enough to justify the police including someone's personal information in an NCHI. This comes in opposition to previous NCHI measures that unlawfully interfered with free speech. For example when the Police logged the personal details of a person in a NCHI record after receiving a complaint about a ‘transphobic’ tweet. This user, Harry Miller, appealed and won the case.

Catholic hospital Chaplain wins Lawsuit After Being Fired for His Religious Statements

March 13, 2023, United Kingdom

In March 2023, Rev. Patrick Pullicino won a legal case, after being dismissed as Chaplain for expressing the traditional teachings of the Church about marriage. This case started in 2019, as Rev. Patrick Pullicino was dismissed as chaplain by the NHS Trust, after answering a question about the Church's teachings on traditional marriage, which was posed by a patient. The patient that pose the question then sent a complaint letter about Rev. Pullicino. Vanessa Ford, the acting chief executive of the South West London and Saint George's Mental Health NHS Trust, answered to the letter by stating that the trust's policy on equality and diversity "takes precedence over religious belief." Rev. Dr Patrick Pullicino, a Catholic chaplain and former professor of neurosciences sued the NHS Trust.

Church in Witham Severely Damaged from Lead Theft

March 10, 2023, United Kingdom

On March 10, large amount of lead was taken from the roof of St. Nicolas' Church in Witham. Shortly after 1 AM the police were called to the church. It was reported that three men were seen removing the lead and quickly fled the area. The lead had been removed from the roof but was left behind at the scene. The crime resulted in a large amount of damage caused to the interior of the church because of overnight rainwater.

Britain’s largest Scout girls’ organisation told to stop singing to God in new ‘inclusive’ campfire songs

March 10, 2023, United Kingdom

As reported by The Telegraph and the Christian Institute, Girlguiding, the UK's national guiding organisation for girls, has come under pressure and criticism after it published a blog post in which the organization argued that in order to make some of its traditional songs "inclusive for everyone," they need be changed to remove "references that have been hurtful to people." Using as an example a song in which references to God were removed.

Bells Worth £8,000 Stolen from Wragby Church

March 8, 2023, United Kingdom

Unkown offenders entered All Saints Church in Wragby and stole eight brass handheld bells, worth around £8,000 in total. The theft occurred between March 1 and March 8. The police are investigating the situation.

"Buffer Zones" Clause in England and Wales Criminalize Silent Prayer or "Influence" Around Abortion Clinics

March 7, 2023, United Kingdom

On March 7, the House of Commons voted to comprehensively introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics to the Public Order Bill for the final time. The clause to the bill was approved by a majority of 299 MPs in favor to 116 against. Now that the Public Order Bill is set to become law, any form of "influence" around abortion clinics will be criminalised, including silent prayer or consensual conversations, de facto making "thought crime" a reality in the UK. Experts have commented that while harassment and intimidation are already illegal, this law would be a serious attack on freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

Theft of Lead Roof from Church in Bath

March 5, 2023, United Kingdom

In early March the lead from the roof of St. Michaels Church in Bath was stolen. This is the latest of a series of lead thefts since December 2022. Due to leaking roofs as a consequence of the theft, services were interrupted. Police has started an investigation.

Ancient Silverware Burgled from Historic North Yorkshire Church

March 1, 2023, United Kingdom

Burglars have stolen silverware dating from the 18th century from St. Margaret's Church in Hawes, North Yorkshire. Rev. Dave Clark said the church was broken into in the early hours of March 1. The church's oak door was damaged and silverware was stolen. Rev. Clark said: "An Oak door from the original construction and surrounding stonework were damaged and now need replacing, but more upsetting is that a significant quantity of silverware with particular historic attachment to Hawes was stolen." The police investigated the scene, including searching for prints and evidence.

Update: School Chaplain loses unfair dismissal case over a sermon where he stated biblical teachings

February 27, 2023, United Kingdom

Rev Dr. Bernard Randall, the former Trent College chaplain in Derbyshire, has lost his unfair dismissal appeal. He was dismissed and reported to a terrorist watchdog after holding a sermon in which he encouraged students to feel free to make up their own opinions regarding the school's initiative to promote LGBT workshops. Even though Rev. Bernard expressed himself respectfully and calmly, he was also blacklisted as a safeguarding risk to children by the Church of England (CofE).

Brass Lectern Stolen from Hemingstone Church

February 23, 2023, United Kingdom

A heavy brass lectern was stolen form St. Gregory's Church in Hemingstone between February 12 and February 23. According to a Suffolk police spokesman, the thieves also attempted to steal a large bronze eagle that sits on top of the lectern from inside the church. It had been moved near to the door of the church and officers believe the burglars planned a second visit to remove it. It has now been taken to a secure location away from the church to prevent it from being stolen. The police said the lectern is a heavy item and would require at least two people to move it. Police are still investigating the incident.

UPDATE: Charges Dropped Against UK Woman for Praying Silently

February 1, 2023, United Kingdom

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce had been arrested and charged with violating protest policy near an abortion center, as she was standing on the street and praying in her thoughts. UK authorities have now dropped the charges against her, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) warned that charges could start again in a near future. Vaughan-Spruce has said she wants to seek a clear verdict in court.

House of Lords Passes Buffer Zone Amendment That Turns Prayer into "Thought Crime"

January 30, 2023, United Kingdom

On the 30th of January, the House of Lords passed an amendment that introduces fines for citizens found guilty of “influencing any person’s decision to access, provide or facilitate the provision of abortion services” within 150 metres of these service facilities. The amendment made to the Public Order Bill was tabled by Conservative peer Baroness Suggs.

UK: Army Veteran Fined for Praying for His Diseased Son Quietly in His Mind

January 19, 2023, United Kingdom

The NGO ADF UK posted a video of two community safety accredited officers in Bournemouth interrogating a veteran who was standing on the street alone, praying in his thoughts. The officers told Adam Smith-Connor that he was praying inside a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) space, for which he was fined. According to the PSPO, certain activities such as acts of "disapproval" towards the abortion facility in the area are prohibited. Adam is at least the second person who was fined for praying silently on the street. He told the officers he was praying for his deceased son, which they considered an "act of disapproval."

Drive-by Shooting: Suspect Jailed After Shooting 6 People Exiting a Church

January 14, 2023, United Kingdom

A shooting occurred in North London on January 14 at the St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church. The 22-year-old suspect drove and shot 6 people who were coming out of a memorial service inside the church. The victims were a 48-year-old who has severe life-threatening injuries; a 12, 21, 41, and 54-year-old. A 7-year-old girl was also injured and was in serious condition. The police department detained the suspect for questioning after his car was found parked on Sunday.

Stained Glass Windows Smashed at Church in Cloughoge

January 13, 2023, United Kingdom

The Church of the Sacred Heart in Cloughoge was vandalised overnight between January 12 and 13. Police received a report around 9 AM on January 13 that six windows of the church and four outside toilets had been smashed overnight. The stained glass windows require specialist repair which is expected to cost many thousand pounds.

Street Preacher in Scotland wins Case After Being Wrongfully arrested for alleged "Hate Speech"

January 13, 2023, United Kingdom

Mr Angus Cameron, the Pastor of Cumnock Baptist Church, has now received £5,500 for his unlawful detention by the Police, as well as £9,400 for the legal costs. Mr Cameron decided to donate all of his compensation to The Christian Institute, an NGO that supported him throughout this legal case. Mr Cameron was handcuffed and arrested by the police back in 2020, for "breach of the peace with homophobic aggravation". He was contacted by the police a few days later and told that he would not be prosecuted, but a non-crime hate incident had been filed. Mr Cameron then sought assistance from the Christian Institute.

Break-in to Church and Vandalism by group of Teenagers

December 29, 2022, United Kingdom

At around 3.45 p.m. on the 29th of December, the St Peter’s Church door was busted open by teenagers. Once inside, they damaged a cross, a statue and candles. The suspects are four boys and four girls who were seen by residents running away from the church with dark clothes on and heading toward Claydon High School. The faces are yet to be identified but the police are asking for any cam footage from cars that were there parked near the scene.

Birmingham charity worker arrested for praying 'in her mind' near an abortion facility

December 20, 2022, United Kingdom

ADF UK reported that a charity volunteer has been arrested and charged with four counts after telling the police that she “might” be praying silently in her mind, after being questioned by them over why she was standing inside an abortion facility’s censorship zone. The arrest and charges took place as authorities consider criminalising prayer near abortion facilities nationwide in the new Public Order Bill.

Vandals Throw Flower Pots Through The Windows of a Church in Egham

December 18, 2022, United Kingdom

Between the 18th and 19th of December, an unknown perpetrator destroyed several windows of the St. John of Rochester Catholic church in Egham Hythe. The perpetrator smashed the windows by throwing flower pots through them. The shattered glass spread over the floor and the incident was discovered by a church volunteer, Anne-do Bauchot. She and other church members said they were "heartbroken" by seeing this attack. Also, because of this, the church was not able to hold their traditional Christmas Eve service.

Chaplain receives Apology after being pressured to remove his half-inch cross

November 28, 2022, United Kingdom

Derek Timms, a chaplain from Solihull, was told in September at the Marie Curie charity’s Solihull branch, that he must not wear the cross as it might "offend’ and "create barriers" with patients. He was also told that he would face consequences if he did not remove the cross, which was a symbol of his faith but also a memory of his late wife. After receiving legal support, Mr Timms received an "unreserved" apology letter from the Marie Curie charity's regional head office.

“Community Safety Officers” approach woman praying outside the Bournemouth abortion clinic "buffer zone"

November 24, 2022, United Kingdom

In November 2022, policemen confronted a woman praying in a public space, on the edge of a "buffer zone" (a 150m neutral zone surrounding abortion clinics in British law). The case raises polemics about "buffer zones" in general.

Vandals Smash Stained-Glass Windows of St. Llwchaiarn Church

November 10, 2022, United Kingdom

A church in Llanllwchaiarn (near Newtown) is facing a "at least" £30,000 bill after unknown vandals smashed six glass-stained windows. The windows of the St. Llwchaiarn church were protected with a wire mesh, but the vandals were still able to break the glass, apparently with iron rods from an old grave. The incident took place between the 8th and 10th of November.

UK street preacher found not guilty of "hate speech"

November 2, 2022, United Kingdom

Christian Concern reports that Shaun O’Sullivan, a Christian preacher who was arrested for criticising Muhammad and Buddha, has been found not guilty following a court hearing. O’Sullivan was arrested in Swindon Town Centre on 11 March 2020, for alleged ‘hate speech’ and for causing "harassment, alarm and distress."

Parents were not allowed to view Sex-Education material delivered in schools by external organizations

October 15, 2022, United Kingdom

The Christian Institute has reported that parents of children at Hatcham College were denied access to see the Sex-Education lesson slides used by an external NGO. The parents requested access to the slides by the School of Sexuality Education (SoSE), but the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) denied their request, stating it would compromise the sex education provider’s “intellectual property”. This, nevertheless, undermines parental rights, as the parents are not able to raise concern over material being taught to their children that might go against their beliefs.

UK: Prayers and activism banned on buffer zone around Bournemouth abortion clinic

October 14, 2022, United Kingdom

A buffer zone was implemented outside the BPAS clinic in Bournemouth in a bid to deter people from praying or standing with pro-life signs outside the clinic. Anyone that fails to accept the decision could incur a fixed penalty notice of £100 or face court action. Buffer zones have been widely discussed, due to their limitation of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

Christian Doctor Faced Pressure After Offering Prayer to Patients

October 9, 2022, United Kingdom

In May 2019, Dr. Richard Scott faced an investigation by the NHS England (National Health Service) after several complaints were made about him offering prayer to patients, as he discussed this practice during a BBC Radio 4 interview. Dr. Scott faced an investigation to see if he was fit for practice, but the case has now been settled between Dr. Scott and the NHS, as reported on the news at the beginning of October. He has agreed to attend a course about professional boundaries and at the same time, with no admittance of wrongdoing.

UK Christians' Right to Freedom of expression Threatened in upcoming Public Order Bill

October 7, 2022, United Kingdom

The UK's already controversial Public Order Bill has received an amendment proposal that would criminalize supporting women seeking an abortion within a 150-meter "buffer zone" from an abortion clinic. Apart from the fact that this would open the way for authorities to repress Christian street preachers, this amendment means that prayer or any kind of help inside the "buffer zones" could lead to an up to two-year jail sentence. Laws like this already exist in Northern Ireland since March, and will also be a reality in Scotland in the near future.

Scotland: proposed “conversion therapy” ban gravely affects parents' rights and religious freedom

October 4, 2022, United Kingdom

A new report was submitted to the Scottish Government on the 4th of October that could criminalize efforts by parents to mentor their children according to their beliefs, with the possibility of losing parental custody. Prayers and private conversations could also be criminalized. The report considers "conversion practices" as "any treatment, practice or effort that aims to change, suppress, and/or eliminate a person's sexual orientation, expression of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.".

Theft of stained glass window in historic church UK

October 3, 2022, United Kingdom

On the 1st of October, unknown thieves targeted the St. Nicholas Church in Baddesley Ensor. They have stolen the historic stained glass windows that were at the side of the church. The Warwickshire Police are investigating the case. For now, the windows had to be boarded up.

Historical silver chalice from the stolen from church in Cambridge

October 1, 2022, United Kingdom

Sometime between September 25 and October 1, a silver chalice worth thousands of pounds was stolen from a village church in Cambridgeshire. According to the sources, the chalice is believed to date back to the 16th century. It was kept in the All Saints and St Andrews Church, where thieves broke in and took the chalice from the safe. The police have been notified and are running investigations.

16th Century Chalice Stolen from St Andrew's Church in Cambridge

September 25, 2022, United Kingdom

Sometime between September 25 and October 1 a 16th-century chalice, engraved with the words “For the Town of Kingston” was stolen from a safe of the All Saints and St Andrew Church in Kingston, Cambridgeshire. A £1,000 reward for information leading to recovery is being offered as the chalice is worth in excess of £10,000 apart from its spiritual value for the community.

Scotland Politician Disciplined by Party Leaders for defending pro-life Support and Prayer outside hospitals

September 15, 2022, United Kingdom

A Scottish politician, John Mason, has been disciplined by party leaders at Holyrood after he showed support for pro-life activism outside hospitals. He was sent a written warning and was accused of causing women “great distress” for his remarks on abortion and buffer zones outside clinics. The news was reported recently on the 15. September.

Legal Expert: Scotland Legislator's Planned Buffer Zones Would Ignore Fundamental Rights

September 14, 2022, United Kingdom

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has pronounced in favor of the legislation meant to limit pro-life activity around abortion clinics, which could lead to the creation of abortion clinic "buffer zones" across Scotland. The First Minister suggested that pro-life groups could protest in front of the Scottish parliament instead of gathering outside abortion clinics. A legal counsel for ADF UK, Mr. Igunnubole, warns that such laws do not possess a "reasonable excuse" to ignore basic tenets of the rule of law, such as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly.

Leeds City Council Accuses Street Preachers of Using Hate Speech and Homophobic Language

September 5, 2022, United Kingdom

In the city of Leeds, members of society raised concerns, claiming that street preachers in the city center are using hate speech and homophobic language. The local council, together with the Police have now issued a new "code of conduct", in which they tell preachers that they respect their freedom of expression, but also recognise that it may be limited to "prevent disorder or crime".

Fr. Bernard Considered a "Risk to Children" by Church of England for Stating Biblical Teachings

September 4, 2022, United Kingdom

Rev Dr. Bernard Randall is a Christian chaplain who was reported to a terrorist watchdog by the school he worked at, after giving a sermon addressing the new LGBT Guidelines and telling his pupils it was ok to make up their own minds, as long as they remain respectful towards other's opinions. He is now facing a high-profile Employment Tribunal hearing and has even been blacklisted as a safeguarding risk to children by the Church of England (CofE). Dr. Randall says he was interrogated and told that refusing to capitulate to the allegation and denying his beliefs made him a risk. The diocese safeguarding team concluded ‘the Church itself is a risk factor.’

Church Walls Tagged With Slogans About Sex And Drugs

August 20, 2022, United Kingdom

On 21. August, "Grimsby Live" reported that the Willows Community Church in Grimsby had been tagged with slogans about sex and drugs that affected the community. Organizers of the Church repainted the walls within hours after the desecration took place. And the news outlet chose not to publish the pictures of the vandalistic act, due to the nature of the slogans. The police was notified and they will run an investigation.

'Screaming, Fires, Fights, Graffiti and Litter' at St John's Churchyard in Worcester

August 17, 2022, United Kingdom

Residents of Worcester, England, are protesting against the gangs of young offenders who occupy the churchyard around St. John's Church and engage in various forms of depredation, graffiti, attempted arson, defacement, robbery, etc.

Plaque Honouring War Hero and Candlesticks Stolen From Church

August 9, 2022, United Kingdom

For the third time on the year, the village church of Saint Gregory the Great in Morville has been the target of theft and vandalism. This time, the thieves stole a plaque commemorating a war hero, Thomas Hoblyn-Robins (from WWI). This happened on the 9. of August. On the same day two brass candlesticks, one brass vase and two brass candleholders were stolen. The police are asking for witness information.

Expert Identifies Religious Illiteracy among UK Elected Officials

July 22, 2022, United Kingdom

During an interview with the Christian Institute, Dr. James Holt, Chair of the Freedom Declared Foundation, said that there is a lack of religious literacy among some elected officials in the UK. He noted that at the recent International Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief in London, the issue seemed to be addressed mainly as a foreign policy issue and not a domestic concern. He considers that "much more needs to be done" to counter anti-religious hatred in the UK and secure religious freedom.

Update: Grandmother Fined for Praying on the Street Wins Her Appeal

July 18, 2022, United Kingdom

Rosa Lalor, who on the 24th of February of 2021 was fined for praying silently on the public street, and later decided to challenge the sanction, won her appeal. At the time, the police considered that she did not have a "reasonable excuse" to be outside, even though she explained that she was simply "walking and praying" and that daily exercise was allowed. She received a fine of £200 and was then detained in the police car. Rosa Lalor decided to challenge the fine, with the help of ADF UK and won the case in court.

Mayoral Candidate Fired for Voicing Christian Beliefs

July 18, 2022, United Kingdom

A Christian mayoral candidate for Lewisham, Maureen Martin, has launched legal action after being sacked for her statement on Christian beliefs about marriage in her election manifesto. She was dismissed by her housing association employer L&Q for "gross misconduct" following three complaints of "hate speech" against her, as she expressed her belief that a marriage between a man and a woman was a "fundamental building block in society" and the "safest environment to raise a child".

Pitsmore Christ Church in Burngreave Fell Victim to Suspected Arson, No Services Available

July 4, 2022, United Kingdom

Pitsmore Christ Church in Burngreave, a district of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, is no longer able to hold services after being damaged in a fire on the night of 3 to 4 July. The authorities and the parish consider the fire to be arson. An investigation has been launched.

Calls For Buffer Zone at Abortion Clinic in Bournemouth

June 28, 2022, United Kingdom

The abortion clinic in Bournemouth has been calling for a buffer zone around the facility, due to the daily vigils outside the clinic that have been taking place over the years, in order to prevent pro-life protesters from approaching the women going to the clinic, as well as the staff that works there. Rachel Clarke, from the mentioned clinic, said "[Bournemouth] is one of the worst-hit clinics in the country". A buffer zone could undermine the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech of pro-life activists.

Evangelical Christian Preacher, Hatun Tash, arrested again at Speakers’ Corner

June 26, 2022, United Kingdom

The evangelical Christian preacher and member of the Free Speech Union, Hatun Tash, was arrested on the 26th of June, at Speakers’ Corner. It was her third arrest in two years. Apparently, she was dragged by a group of police officers, who took her to the police station, "strip-searched, interviewed, kept overnight in a cell and then released without charge". She was released the next day, interestingly, on the 150th anniversary of Speakers’ Corner.

Wooden Cross Set on Fire in Riccall Church

June 24, 2022, United Kingdom

An arson attack took place at the St. Mary's Church in Riccall on Friday 24. June. A wooden cross that was attached to the front entrance of the church was set on fire and destroyed. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, as the religious symbol was directly targeted.

Wooden Eagle lectern stolen from church

June 12, 2022, United Kingdom

The wooden eagle lectern was stolen from St Mary's Church in Gunthorpe by unknown perpetrators. The theft is believed to have taken place at some point during the weekend of Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12. The police were able to return the eagle lectern the Church in Gunthorpe.

Windows of a Church in Wolverhampton Smashed with Stones

June 11, 2022, United Kingdom

The West Midlands police have released CCTV footage of three people wanted for smashing the windows of Life City Church with stones on 11 and 13 June. The damage to the church was £1000 and a complaint has been made.

Former Church Set on Fire in Eckington

June 6, 2022, United Kingdom

A large church in Eckington, which has not been used for quite some time, was set on fire by unknown arsonists on the 3rd of June. Residents were told to leave their homes and two fire departments had to be called. Although this church may have been unused, its religious value was still present.

Extreme Vandalism and Property Damage to Church in Barrhead

May 27, 2022, United Kingdom

In a series of break-ins at the former South and Levern Church, more than £50,000 of damage was caused by unknown vandals. In the latest act of vandalism on the 27th of May, the organ was destroyed and radiators were torn off the walls. Although the church has been closed, it is still a sight that carries religious sentiment for many people.

Windows Broken by Teenagers at Ringmer Church

May 23, 2022, United Kingdom

The stained glass windows of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Ringmer were broken by youth with catapults and ball bearings on May 23rd. The police identified the culprits and confiscated their catapults. A police spokesperson said: “The youths will subsequently be coming into Lewes Police Station to account for their actions.”