CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

Religious Liberty
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We believe strongly in the freedom for all religious groups to proclaim their beliefs in the public square. However, in recent years we have seen the Christian voice being marginalised with many concerning restrictions on Christian freedom of speech. CARE campaigns in Westminster and the devolved Parliaments to safeguard Christian civil liberties.

Christian freedom, we believe, is not merely liberty to believe what we wish, but also liberty to live our lives according to our faith, meet with other Christians and share the good news. When religious freedom is threatened it becomes more challenging for Christians to do these things.

Join us in working for freedom for all to manifest their faith, and for Christians to be at liberty to live out their lives according to their faith – without fear of recrimination.

Topic primer

The right to freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right protected by international, regional, and domestic law provisions. It is a human right that goes beyond recognising human beings as political and economic entities. Indeed, religion and belief set up moral foundations for our everyday lives and prescribe certain behaviours. Religion further affirms that there is a higher authority than the Government and so sets up moral limitations to its work.

Religious liberty is beneficial for all communities. Indeed, the public service and contribution of religious groups to their communities has been remarkable for many years. Nonetheless, the place for religion and the manifestation of religious belief in the public square is increasingly circumscribed and in a way that is causing increasing concern. This has an adverse effect not only on those who wish to enjoy their religious liberty, but also those who benefit from services provided by religious groups (predominately on a voluntary basis). Hence, the right to freedom of religion or belief must be protected not only because it is a fundamental human right, but also because of the positive impact of the right to freedom of religion or belief on communities.

There are nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. These include; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. In theory all the protected characteristics should be treated as equally important and all rights protected, but in practice these different rights often push in diametrically opposing directions. This is particularly problematic if one protected characteristic repeatedly clashes with and quashes another protected characteristic.

Religious opinion is becoming more marginalised in the public sphere and there are stronger pressures to conform. These pressures stem primarily from equality laws, measures to address extremism, and hate crime laws. The pressures are twofold: firstly, on employees to facilitate in the course of employment that which is contrary to faith. Secondly, there are also pressures on service providers to facilitate activity which is contrary to faith in service provision.

Christian freedom, we believe, is not merely liberty to believe what we wish, but also liberty to live our lives according to our faith, meet with other Christians and share the good news. When religious freedom is threatened it becomes more challenging for Christians to do these things. CARE continues to fight for everyone, regardless of faith, to enjoy religious liberty in our nation, and we continue to advocate for the right to freedom of speech for all – an essential foundation of any free and democratic society.

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What is CARE doing?

Find out more about our work on religious liberty, and upcoming challenges.

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Paul Coleman
The whole pur­pose of equal­ity law is to pro­tect people from being dis­crim­in­ated against, not to com­pel indi­vidu­als to pro­mote ideas with which they disagree.
Paul Coleman Executive Director, ADF International

Resources

Here are some resources to help you dig deeper on the issue of religious freedom

Q&A: The Gender Recognition Act and Self ID

Q&A: The Gender Recog­ni­tion Act and Self ID

The Scottish Government has proposed changes to how a person can legally change gender. This Q&A explains what those changes are and why they're so controversial.

Read more
Conversion Therapy Ban - England & Wales

Con­ver­sion Ther­apy Ban — Eng­land & Wales

The UK Government is planning to legislate for a ban on 'conversion therapy' in England and Wales. This short briefing tells you all you need to know, including information on how you can respond.

Find out more
Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians In Europe

Obser­vat­ory on Intol­er­ance and Dis­crim­in­a­tion Against Chris­ti­ans In Europe

2019 Report

The Observatory’s task is to analyse the situation for Christians in Europe.The report highlights how Christians experience blatant discrimination through hate crimes, such as bias-motivated offences against Christians and attacks on places of worship.

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Recent religious liberty news

Opinion

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You can make a difference today.

Together we can make a difference shaping our culture and society. Here are three things you can do right now…

Pray.

Join us in praying for religious freedom in the UK and around the world.

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Write.

Help Protect Free Speech in Scotland

Write to your MSPs

Discuss.

Read more about what CARE is arguing for in the public square

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