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10 years championing Christian foundations

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At Christian Concern, we’re convinced that the best possible way to live is by following Jesus in every area of our lives. And it’s just as true for societies. The UK has a long and deep Christian heritage; in its laws, its traditions and its institutions. It’s those Christian foundations that have helped the UK flourish – albeit imperfectly – for centuries.

Although those foundations have always been under attack, they’ve never been as neglected and abandoned as they are today. As we’ve abandoned our Christian roots, we’ve lost the fruits.

Radical ‘liberal’ views try to build society without reference to God. Radical Islam seeks to reorder society according to Sharia law. Neither of these ideologies lead to human flourishing – so it is essential that Christians critique these positions and promote a biblical understanding of society.

The seven-day week, with Sunday for rest is one of the most visible reminders of our Christian heritage. Restrictions on Sunday trading allow families and communities to spend much-needed time together. There have been numerous attempts to relax these laws, which we’ve successfully opposed.

Celestina Mba lost her job because her employers changed their policy and asked her to start working on Sundays. When we helped her challenge her dismissal in 2012, even though she didn’t get her job back, an important legal point was won. That same year, we helped an employee avoid working on Sundays while keeping his job.

We’ve also helped people who’ve been told to stop manifesting their faith at work. Colin Atkinson had a cross on the dashboard of his van for 15 years but was told that he could face disciplinary action after an anonymous complaint that it could offend people of other faiths – because of our help he was able to keep the cross in his van.

Similarly, nurse Shirley Chaplin wore a cross for nearly forty years before she was told she had to remove or hide it. As we helped with her legal challenge, we enabled supporters to send thousands of postcards to David Cameron supporting the freedom for employees like Shirley to wear a cross. Shirley was able to take her case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, which didn’t overturn the decisions of British courts, but did secure important freedoms.

Christians have always been at the heart of education in the UK – still responsible for around 1/3 of state-funded schools in England, for example. But parents who want a distinctively-Christian education for their children have faced several threats over the last ten years.

Society’s promotion of directionless evolution and radical sex and relationships education has threatened freedoms for Christian schools and nurseries to teach Christian beliefs. Anti-bullying measures have acted as a Trojan horse for the promotion and normalisation of LGBT ideologies, even in church schools.

We’ve helped challenge proposals and plans that would deepen these problems. We’ve helped Christian schools that have come under threat from Ofsted. And we’ve fought to maintain crucial protections for home educators.

The increase of secularism and multiculturalism in the UK has left a vacuum that Islam has been keen to fill. Despite the claims of some, Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians, and Islamic teaching distorts the gospel and oppresses individuals.

We helped successfully resist the building of a mega mosque in East London by Tablighi Jamaat, a group with links to militant Islam. We’ve supported ongoing efforts to outlaw de-facto Sharia Courts and we’ve set up Safe Haven, which supports Christians who face threats of violence for leaving Islam.

‘Sarah’, a victim of an Islamic rape gang has also received help as she tries to shed light on what has happened to her.

Contending for our nation’s Christian foundations has prompted academic research, reports and investigations into the place of Christians in society which have taken evidence from us.

And through Wilberforce Publications, we’ve published several books that underline the importance of our Christian roots and promote a Christian view of society.

Looking forward, talk of ‘British values’ and ‘anti-extremism’ provides great challenges and opportunities to speak of the goodness of Jesus and his pattern for society. Please join us at our 10 year celebrations to learn more and help shape the next ten years.

 

Read more

Read about 10 years of mobilising the Church
Read about 10 years of sharing good news
Read about 10 years of championing marriage and family
Read about 10 years of championing life

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