European court to rule on UK Christian freedom cases

Judgment in the cases of four UK Christians will be handed down at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on 15 January.

Christian Concern said that all four cases relate to the extent of effective protection under the European Convention on Human Rights for the manifestation of Christian faith in the public sphere.

Two of the cases nurse Shirley Chaplin and suspended British Airways check-in clerk Nadia Eweida relate to the visible wearing of a cross. The other cases of Christian counsellor Gary McFarlane and former marriage registrar Lillian Ladele relate to protection of Christian conscience in the professional arena.

Christian Concern is particularly interested in how the provision for 'freedom of thought, conscience and religion' under Article 9 will translate into practical protections in diverse European societies.

The decision of the European Court will determine the direction of freedom of religion from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and the rights of Christian employees in the workplace to 'reasonable accommodation' of their faith.

The Christian Legal Centre is directly supporting Gary McFarlane and Shirley Chaplin.

At a hearing last September, the UK government contested all the cases in spite of public statements in support of freedom to wear the cross by the British Prime Minister and other government ministers.

In July last year, David Cameron told the House of Commons: "I fully support the right of individuals to wear religious symbols at work... it is a vital religious freedom."


Tags : European court Strasbourg

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