I recently read about a couple of cases of alleged religious persecution (Daily Telegraph). What struck me was that I could imagine the two situations occurring as described and seeing a case for both agreeing with and disagreeing with the action taken against the Christians concerned. Increasingly followers of Jesus are given a hard time for living out their faith but it seems to me that sometimes, maybe, perhaps, the hard time might be justified…..
Christian Primary School Receptionist Sues Over Religious Discrimination
Jennie Cain, a receptionist at Landscore School, alleges that she and her five-year-old daughter were discriminated against and harassed because of their religion and that the school was “anti-Christian”. She claimed her daughter Jasmine, who is a pupil at Landscore, had come home from school in tears after being told off by a teacher for talking to another pupil about Jesus, Heaven and God. Mrs Cain, 38, then wrote an email she claimed was private to 10 close friends from her church to ask for prayers for her daughter and the school. The email was passed to Gary Read, the headmaster, who called the receptionist into his office and told her she was being investigated for alleged serious professional misconduct. At the time, Mrs Cain, described herself as a "quiet Christian'' who would never force her beliefs on others. She said: "I do feel our beliefs haven't been respected and I don't feel I have been treated fairly. I don't know what I am supposed to have done wrong.”
In return, Mr Read claimed Jasmine had been overheard frightening another girl about the prospect of going to hell if she does not believe in God. He said: “We conveyed to her mother in a perfectly respectful manner that we did not expect this to happen again.'' The headmaster insisted that the school was tolerant of all faiths but could not go into detail about the prayer email as it “contained an untrue allegation about the school”.
Mrs Cain said she was subsequently investigated by an internal panel and found guilty of serious misconduct. She appealed and lost.
Manchester Police Intimidated Preacher, Lawyers Allege
Lawyers have asked the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester to answer allegations that police officers intimidated a street preacher and falsely accused him of ‘inciting hatred with homophobic and racial comments’. Volunteer evangelist Miguel Hayworth (29) and his 55-year-old father were approached by three policemen as he was reading passages from the Old and New Testaments in St Ann’s Square. Mr Hayworth says a plain clothes officer told him, ‘It is against the law to preach and hand out tracts: preaching causes offence and handing out tracts is harassment’. He alleges that a second officer accused him of inciting religious and racial hatred and warned his actions were being videoed. The Christian Legal Centre has instructed religious rights barrister Paul Diamond to take Mr Hayworth’s complaint to Greater Manchester Police.