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New European Union Directive could 'Silence Christians across Europe' - warns Christian Concern for our Nation

Printer-friendly versionChristian Concern for our Nation (CCFON), a Christian lobby group and the Christian Legal Centre, an organisation of Christian lawyers specialising in the discrimination of Christians by their employers/public bodies, has warned that ...

For Immediate Release

21st September 2009

Christian Concern for our Nation (CCFON), a Christian lobby group and the Christian Legal Centre, an organisation of Christian lawyers specialising in the discrimination of Christians by their employers/public bodies, has warned that a little-known EU Directive could “silence Christians across Europe”.

CCFON warns that the EU ‘Equal Treatment Directive’ will lead to oppression and censorship, and has therefore provided an on-line Information and Action Pack for clergy and lay people in order that they might take urgent action by writing to the Equality Minister and campaigning on the issue.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, founder of CLC said: “The proposed EU Equal Treatment Directive has the potential to be used as an instrument of cultural genocide. Its provisions are likely to restrict Christian freedoms to the extent that, in certain cases, we would be silenced and prevented from providing goods or services to the public without violating our consciences particularly if required to promote other religions or the practice of homosexuality.”

Mrs Williams says the Directive ignores the necessity of providing protection in connection with conflicts inevitably arising out of:

  • Differences between those expressing religious tenets of one religion and the doctrines of another religion; or
  • Differences between those expressing religious tenets on sexual conduct and those professing a ‘homosexual orientation’.


She said: “The Directive purports to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of (amongst other things) “religion or belief” and “sexual orientation” from the provision of goods and services in every European Union country. That means that when providing a service (such as a hotel room) or selling goods (such as books) in the EU, businesses and their employees will have to provide them or risk being sued, irrespective of whether they find themselves facilitating sexual ethics contrary to their religious beliefs or helping to promote another religion.

“If a Christian says or does something whilst providing the goods or the service that someone finds offensive, they can be sued for an unlimited amount of compensation for “harassment”. This will cast a chilling shadow over free speech and freedom of expression for Christians, as it will for those with any unpopular views.”

The Directive also contains a number of proposals that will limit the freedom of expression of broadcasters and the press; will limit academic freedom in education particularly outside the determination of national educational systems, and will undermine Christians’ right to freedom of association by compelling them to ensure that the principle of equal treatment is applied to all internal rules.

Mrs Williams adds: “There is no protection in the Directive for the freedom to follow one’s religious conscience and there are no balancing mechanisms to arbitrate between competing sets of rights, such as when a Muslim’s rights conflict with a Christian’s rights, or when the supposed rights of a homosexual to practise his or her lifestyle conflict with a Christian’s rights to refuse to facilitate that practice. We believe that Nations should veto and not pass the Directive.”

CCFON (www.ccfon.org) has a downloadable Information and Action Pack with full information, and is urging every concerned Christian/church to write to the Equality Minister.

ENDS.

For further information/interview:

Andrea Minichiello Williams: 0771 259 1164.

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