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Filtered by: Freedom of Expression

UK Council Bans Pro-Life Vigils outside Abortion Clinic

April 10, 2018, United Kingdom

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.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Canada Summer Jobs Funding Program Becomes Religious Freedom and Conscience Rights Controversy

March 20, 2018, Canada

The Canada Summer Jobs program funding application for 2018 requires that applicants sign a statement supporting, among other things, abortion and transgender rights in order to be eligible for funding. Hundreds of applicants, including Christian charities, pro-life groups, and churches have refused to sign the attestation because of the government's positions on moral issues.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Contractual Freedom Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Catholic Historian's Facebook Account Suspended Due to Post about Islam

March 19, 2018, Germany

Facebook suspended the account of Catholic historian Michael Hesemann for 30 days after he published a post commenting on the negative influence of Islam in the history of Europe and, specifically, in Germany.

Freedom of Expression

Council Votes in Favor of Buffer Zone around Abortion Clinic

February 7, 2018, United Kingdom

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.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

Teacher Fired for Sharing Biblical Views; Loses Discrimination Lawsuit

February 2, 2018, United Kingdom

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.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Manchester Votes to Ban Pro-Life Protests outside Clinics

January 24, 2018, United Kingdom

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.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression

London Assembly Passed Motion to Clarify Police Power in "Buffer Zones"

December 21, 2017, United Kingdom

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.”

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression

Christian Peer Fears Proclaiming Christianity could be a Hate Crime

December 12, 2017, United Kingdom

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.

Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Court Rules Student can be Expelled for Quoting Bible on Facebook

October 27, 2017, United Kingdom

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.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Some UK Schools Have Removed B.C. and A.D. Dating from Religious Education Classes

October 1, 2017, United Kingdom

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."

Freedom of Expression

YouTube Removed Channel of Islam-Critical Priest

September 27, 2017, France

After a third "warning" that his posted videos were "inappropriate" and violated "community rules," YouTube removed priest Guy Pagès's "Islam et Vérité" channel from its content-sharing platform on September 27, 2017 .

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Prison Worker Loses Employment Tribunal Appeal over Sermon

August 4, 2017, United Kingdom

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.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Expression

Saying Grace in Christian Kindergarten Prohibited

June 26, 2017, Sweden

An independent religious kindergarten in Umeå, Sweden, was forced to stop saying grace before meals by the county government. The Education Act says that religious elements may be included in education at independent schools, but they must be voluntary in order for the children to participate. The law does not say that the children themselves must agree, but rather that their parents consent on their behalf. The county argued that the children have not made the choice to participate in saying grace and have thus prohibited it. Preschool Director Britt Marie Mårtensson said they replaced grace with "Thank you for the sun and the rain and the food on our table."

Freedom of Expression Rights of Parents

Attack Against a Catholic Bishop

May 29, 2017, Spain

A Catholic bishop had to be escorted by the police after several dozens of people holding LGTB banners assaulted him at the entrance of the church after a service.

Freedom of Expression Hate Incident

Reparation Prayers for Abortion Banned by Hospital Management

May 27, 2017, Switzerland

Prayers in reparation for the victims of abortion have been held in the chapel of the University Hospital (CHUV) in Lausanne on the 13th of every month for the past 10 years, organized by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Pierre-Francois Leyvraz, the CEO of the hospital claimed not to have known about the events when the media contacted him. He informed the SSPX that they would no longer have access to the chapel and that the chapel will be closed on the 13th of each month to prevent the prayer meetings. He noted that abortion is legal and they will not permit people opposed to abortion to meet in the hospital chapel.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression

Medical Director's Dismissal Reversed

May 20, 2017, Germany

On May 19, 2017 the Lüneburg labor court ruled that the termination of Medical Clinic Director Markus Fröhling was unjustified. In February 2017, Fröhling was dismissed after publicly voicing his support for the former gynecology chief physician Thomas Börner, who declined to do abortions in his department. This support caused criticism by both the media and politicians.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression

Christian Prison Preacher to Appeal Tribunal Ruling

April 27, 2017, United Kingdom

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".

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Expression

Expelled Christian Student Wins Right to Face High Court

April 26, 2017, United Kingdom

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.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Easter Procession Ended in Turmoil in Sevilla

April 14, 2017, Spain

“La Madrugá”, the Easter procession during the night from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday was interrupted and ended in turmoil with 17 people being taken to the hospital and one person was admitted to the ICU for head trauma. Eight people were arrested for the vandalism and the police investigated the connections and potential coordination of the attack on the Easter procession.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Crime Hate Incident Intolerance towards Religious Symbols Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Swedish Labour Court Rules Against Pro-Life Midwife

April 12, 2017, Sweden

The Swedish Labour Court upheld the judgments of the Discrimination Ombudsman and Tribunal Court in the case of Christian midwife, Ellinor Grimmark, who has been denied jobs at several clinics due to her refusal to carry out abortions and her outspoken stance on the matter.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression