On December 7th, the UK shadow minister for faiths, Janet Daby, has resigned from her position. This was due to her statement, regarding the right of registrars to refuse same-sex marriages without being terminated. Janet Daby said that registrars who had a religious objection to same-sex marriage should not be forced to conduct them, as well as someone who has objections to abortions is not forced to carry them out. She sincerely apologized for her misjudged comments, and decided to resign as Shadow Faith Minister.
Mary Douglas, a Christian councillor at Wiltshire, was forced to step down from her role in November 2019, as she expressed her disapproval of the use of public funds to promote the "gay pride" event, as she did not agree with this "ideology and worldview". Accused of homophobia, she had to leave her role, but after an investigation the Wiltshire Council reversed the decision. The council admitted that her removal was an infringement of her "right to freedom of expression".
A 50-year-old Iranian has dealt with hostility for 16 years, since he converted to Christianity from Islam. He fled from Iran, where he was threatened with death by his family and ended up in Barcelona, where he was helped by an evangelical church. His asylum has been rejected three times and now he lives in an unregulated situation since 2018. The hostility and violence towards his Christian faith has also continued in Barcelona, by other Iranians. He tells his story in an interview published on November 5th.
The First Minister of Walse, Mark Drakeford announced a new lockdown from the 23rd of October to the 9th of November, which includes the closing of churches. Christian leaders have raised their voice against the regulations made by the Welsh Government. The Christian leaders argue that the regulations are severely interfering with the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and worship, which are protected under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act.
As reported by Christian Concern on the 22nd of October, the BBC News Broadcast showed a biased TV Program on the issue of "Gay Conversion Therapy". On September 29th, BBC Northern Ireland featured only LGBT campaigners and gay-affirming psychologist and psychiatrists. The organization Core Issues Trust argued, that the program did not represent the real range of scientific opinions on the controversial topic. There were no interviews with people who had benefited from counseling interventions and left the LGBT lifestyle and also false reports were used without further investigations.
The Union of Clare Students (UCS) of the Cambridge Clare University are trying to remove the city councilor Kevin Price, for refusing to vote on a motion that contained a statement affirming that trans-women are women, trans-men are men and non-binary individuals are also non-binary. Price resigned his role to vote as a matter of conscience on the 22nd of October. The UCS considers Price "Unfit" and demand not only a safe environment for trans-people, but also that they feel "celebrated".
On October 9th, a 15-year-old boy was asked to remove his necklace with a cross on it for the school photo. The school is unknown to guarantee the anonimity of the boy. Other students at the school were allowed to wear their religious symbols during the photo was taken, like face or hair coverings according to the Muslim religion. The teenager was told, that the cross symbol could be offensive for other students. The headmaster of the school distanced himself from the incident and said the photographer had made a mistake.
The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children (SPUC) and the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) published a report called Free2Speak on September 28, which analyzed campus censorship in Scotland. Each university was scored according to their policies towards pro-life students, societies and outside speakers and the students' experiences. Both Edinburgh and Stirling university were marked as "fails" in the survey because their students' unions refused to affiliate pro-life societies.
Since the 8th of August, Pastor Josh Williamson and his wife experienced several threats and verbal abuse by the LGBT community, because of posting his belief about homosexuality on Facebook. Among them are the threats to burn his church, to perform sexual acts and protests in front of his church and physical assault. His image was also used on pornographic content and shared online, among other misleading information about him. In his conversation with the Police, Williamson was told to be careful not to break the law by insulting the LGBT community and being charged for hate speech. The threats towards him and his church were not investigated, neither the acts of defamation.
The Observatory of Freedom of Religion (OFRC) in Spain, presented a research project in October 2019, to the National Agency for Evaluation and Prospective Studies (ANEP) under the Ministry of Science and Innovation on a Climate Change topic. The actors involved were the University of Alcalá, the University of Catalonia and researchers of three different universities, from which two have a Christian background. In June 2020 they received a statement that the experience of the members of the research, related to climate change, is doubted and they are afraid of a biased study, given the religious weight of the institutions involved. The OLRC took the case to the Ministry, but it was rejected.
Street preacher Henning Heinrich Westrup reported that attacks against him increased in July. He calls on people to repent and follow Jesus Christ in the pedestrian zones in Bielefeld, Dortmund and Gütersloh, among others. He reported that attacks against him by people who reject his message have increased. He said he experienced insults, vulgarities, and threats -- along with an assault in July.
Two Christian organizations that help people “who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression,” have been notified by Barclays Bank that their accounts would be closed. The move by the bank followed a social media campaign demanding that the bank end its professional relationship with Core Issues Trust (CIT) and The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC), accusing both groups of promoting “conversion therapy.” In recent weeks, the UK government has pledged to ban "conversion therapy." The charities' head, Mike Davidson, disputes the use of the term: “The term ‘conversion therapy’ is being used as a catch-all phrase designed to discredit any help that people may provide to those with mixed sexual attractions who prefer their heterosexual side. This could include a listening ear, formal counselling or spiritual support.”
The Scottish Justice Committee has proposed a new hate crime bill, which extends the current hate crime law covering race, to include other "protected characteristics" such as religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. Christian and secular groups have criticized the bill as too broad and subjective, potentially interfering with freedom of speech and worship. The Parliament has accepted to re-draft the Bill, to protect Freedom of Speech. The new amendment should be known in December 2020.
Proposed Equality Bills 96 and 97 are ostensibly aimed at protecting an extensive group of people from discrimination and cover areas such as schools, public religious symbols, and services and employment. The Bills would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, state of health, and other “protected characteristics.” However, many sectors of society, including educators, professionals, business owners, health workers, parents, faith-based groups, and believers are concerned about the laws' overreach.
The High Court in Leeds held a judicial review of the watchdog Ofsted’s actions against Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service in North East England on the 6th and 7th of May. The Christian fostering agency took the government regulator to court for downgrading Cornerstone’s fostering service from “Good” to “Requires Improvement.”
In October 2019, the American restaurant Chick-fil-A signed a six-month lease and opened a franchise in The Oracle shopping center in Reading. LGBT protesters promptly began a "Get the Chick Out" boycott campaign, due to the company's previous support of a Christian charity which opposed same-sex marriage. The company indicated that the closure was part of its strategy of opening "pilot license locations“ with limited menus in partnership with local organizations to test the waters while expanding.
A seniors group of Christians from recognised religious communities such as the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church and the Free Churches in Austria (FKÖ) is no longer allowed to use the tax-financed community centre after several years of use. In an e-mail from ISD (Innsbrucker Soziale Dienste), the Christian seniors group was informed that "prayers, devotions, hymns of praise, Bible readings or the like" are no longer permitted in the ISD Community Centre in Wilten with immediate effect. Representatives of political parties and Tyrollean citizens are protesting against this decision accusing of violating religious freedom.
On March 2nd, member of the Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen faced a police interrogation because of a tweet she posted in June 2019. The tweet was directed at the leadership of her church and questioned its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019”, accompanied by an image of a bible text.
A primary school in Zevenaar renamed its traditional Carnival celebration as a "fancy dress party" on the initiative of the parents' association. They claimed that Carnival, originally a Catholic festival, would not suit the public nature of the primary school.
On January 24th, the ACC Liverpool Group announced that it would no longer hold the previously-scheduled Graham Tour Event due to objections from LGBT activists over Graham's past statements about homosexuality. Graham responded by saying “I’m not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I'm not coming out of hate, I'm coming out of love.” As of February 11th, the other venues that cancelled events were: International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, Glasgow SEC, Sheffield Arena, Arena Birmingham, and Stadium Milton Keynes.