About Christian Concern
At Christian Concern we have a passion to see the United Kingdom return to the Christian faith. Our nation has been shaped and defined by this faith for hundreds of years. Yet in the last few decades the nation has largely turned her back on Jesus and embraced alternative ideas such as secular liberal humanism, moral relativism and sexual licence. The fruit of this is rotten, and can be seen in widespread family breakdown, immorality and social disintegration.
Yet we believe that this nation has a hope, and that hope can be found in Jesus Christ. On this basis we seek to awaken the Church. We need to be passionate about our faith and became a light and a witness to the nation.
Whilst engaging with the church we want to work to infuse a biblical worldview into every aspect of society. We want to be a strong Christian voice in the public sphere, arguing passionately for the truth of the Gospel and defending the historic freedoms that we have enjoyed in this nation for so long.We believe that by doing so, society as a whole will benefit. We seek to highlight injustice, change public opinion on issues of key importance and affect policy at the highest levels.
We engage on a broad large range of issues, including abortion, adoption and fostering, bioethics, marriage, education, employment, end of life, equality, family, free speech, Islamism, religious freedom, the sex trade, social issues and issues relating to sexual orientation.
In the last couple of years we have launched a number of campaigns in order to mobilise the church:
Not Ashamed campaign
We launched the ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign in 2010, a major initiative designed to encourage Christians to take a public stand for Jesus. On 1 December 2010, Christians across the nation wore merchandise with the ‘Not Ashamed’ logo and cross as a sign that they were not ashamed to say that Jesus Christ is good news for society. Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, backed the campaign, producing a short leaflet which was distributed to thousands of people at Christmas proclaiming the good news of the gospel.
Widespread print, radio and TV coverage resulted, along with many opportunities for Christians to share their faith with colleagues and friends. The Sun newspaper featured a groundbreaking double-page evangelistic message to the nation from Lord Carey. (www.notashamed.org.uk)
Choose Life campaign
On the 43rd anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act we launched the ‘Choose Life’ campaign, with a vigil outside Parliament and a series of events designed to mark the occasion and highlight the ongoing scale and consequence of abortion. The campaign helped lead to a constructive adjournment debate in Parliament on ‘Informed Consent’. (www.chooselifecampaign.org)
Equal and Free
We are currently running the ‘Equal and Free’ campaign to support Baroness Cox’s Bill to stop sharia law being used unjustly against women in the UK and to curb the use of sharia law where it is being used illegally. (www.equalandfree.org)
The influence of radical Islam has grown in the UK and as an ideology it seeks to shape our political and social landscape. From the introduction of sharia law and Islamic finance to the implications on freedom of speech and women’s rights, the presence of Islamism in the UK has great repercussions for all of us. At Christian Concern we hope to bring awareness of the impact that this may have on the UK and offer a Christian response.
We have now launched the ‘Awake Arise’ campaign to encourage and equip the Church to engage with issues of vital concern to the nation. We regularly hold Awake Arise events in churches across the nation with top speakers. Some of these events are focused on specific issues such as Islam or marriage and the family. (www.awakearise.org.uk)
We run an annual academy for young people called the ‘Wilberforce Academy’, named after famous reformer William Wilberforce. The Academy is a week-long, residential course in Oxford University featuring top speakers who train and equip the invited students on what it means to proclaim Christ in public life.
It is our desire to raise up the next generation of Christian leaders who will take a bold stand for Christ within their spheres of influence, whether in the church or in the marketplace. We pray that just as God blessed Wilberforce and his fellow reformers so also God will mightily use those we are committed to training.
These weeks have proven highly popular and we believe that the Academy students have the potential to impact the nation. We are now developing a Wilberforce network to encourage these graduates to build relationships and connect for the future. (www.wilberforceacademy.org.uk)
Our policy team sits at the heart of our organisation. We produce research materials which are used to inform debate at the highest levels and we draft legal amendments which are used in Parliament.
We give regular, detailed responses to Government consultations on a range of issues. We have recently responded to consultations on:
i) The advertising of abortion on television;
ii) Civil partnerships being held on religious premises;
iii) The Equality Commission; and
iv) Pre-nuptial agreements.
We will shortly be responding to consultations on the question of redefining marriage to include homosexual marriage equality, sex education in schools and a possible UK Bill of Rights.
We are now starting to spearhead Christian policy work across Europe. We have established relationships in Belgium, France, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria as well as internationally in America, Nigeria, Jamaica, Canada and Australia. We are committed to lending our know-how generously to serve Christians across the globe and helping them stay ahead of developments in their own nations.
The Christian Legal Centre
The Christian Legal Centre is a sister organisation of Christian Concern.
We defend a wide variety of individuals and churches who have suffered discrimination and challenges because of their desire to live and work according to biblical beliefs. Many of these cases have been high-profile and have been at the cutting edge of the law relating to freedom of belief. We handle more religious discrimination cases than any other organisation in the UK.
We have recently represented (amongst many others):
i) Dr Richard Scott, a Christian GP who is currently under investigation and is in danger of losing his job after sharing his faith with a patient during a surgery meeting;
ii) Colin Atkinson, a Christian van driver who was forced to remove a palm cross from his van after 15 years. Christian Concern launched a campaign to highlight the injustice and Colin was subsequently allowed to return to work; and
iii) Eunice and Owen Johns, a Christian couple with fostering experience who were stopped from fostering a small child aged 5 to 8 because they did not believe in promoting homosexuality to small children. Following an unsuccessful application to Court, they remain unable to foster. However, the Prime Minister was forced to comment on the Johns’ case and the issues concerned were brought to the forefront of national attention.
These cases have all received high-profile media coverage and have all been featured on the front pages of national newspapers.
Two of our client’s cases haverecently been taken up by the European Court of Human Rights:
i) Gary McFarlane, a relationships counsellor who was dismissed from his job because he said during a staff training day that he was not sure whether he was comfortable with giving sex advice to homosexual couples; and
ii) Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was banned from working on hospital wards for wanting to continue to wear a cross around her neck, a cross which she had worn as a front-line nurse for almost 30 years.
These two cases have been viewed by the European Court as being of such importance that they merit further investigation, and the British Government has been asked by the Court to state whether or not they believe that the rights of Christians have been infringed in these cases.
As part of our campaign alongside the case work we recently delivered 150,000 postcards to be sent to the Prime Minister urging him to uphold religious freedom.
We have a growing mailing list of 35,000 individuals and churches who we keep regularly informed of a wide selection of news and policy developments. This supporter base often joins us on our campaigns and supports our work through letter writing, lobbying their MP’s, joining demonstrations, responding to consultations and praying and giving support in a wide variety of ways.
Please consider joining with us at this time as we seek to impact the nation.
Please join our mailing list so that we can communicate with you. The mailing list and website will keep you informed so that you can join in our campaigns and also pray for the issues.
Please also consider donating to our work to enable us to continue our vital work. We are passionate about advancing God’s Kingdom in our nation and beyond.
Every gift enables us to keep our doors open.
Please join with us as we seek to put the hope of Christ at the heart of the nation.
CCFON is registered in England and Wales.