Church of England Calls for Legal Right to Wear a Cross

Christians who wear crosses at work or discuss their beliefs with colleagues must have legal protection from persecution, demanded the Church of England.

Church leaders are worried about several cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in the United Kingdom. The Daily Mail reports for following examples: • NHS nurse Shirley Chaplin was told to remove her cross at work, and an employment tribunal later said wearing it was not a 'mandatory requirement' of her faith. The development follows five years of deepening hostility among bosses to workers who wear crosses or talk about their faith. • A number of individuals working for hospitals or health authorities have been suspended or sacked from their jobs for talking to colleagues or patients about Christianity. And senior judges have dismissed the claims of those who say they should be able to act in accordance with their beliefs at work. • Last year an Appeal Judge upheld the sacking of Relate counsellor Gary McFarlane, who refused to give sex therapy to gay couples, saying the law could not give protection to people who acted on religious grounds. The Daily Mail quotes Dr Philip Giddings, chairman of the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council: 'The law does not prevent Christians from expressing their views at work. The law, rightly, expects everyone, including those of no faith, to act with due respect for other people's rights and duties in the field of religion or belief. ... However some employers have interpreted the law in ways which seem to assume that reasonable and respectful expressions of faith are, almost by definition, offensive. This is a cause of great concern.“ Sources and full stories: