Canada passes C-250, Bible now hate literature?

By April 29, 2004

Canada (MNN) — The unthinkable has happened. Canada’s Senate has passed legislation which could make religious freedom a little less free. C-250 passed overwhelmingly, ending hopes of a filibuster. This legislation could pose problems for Christians.

C-250 adds homosexuality as a protected category in Canada’s genocide and hate-crimes legislation, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. That’s a concern for organizations like the International Bible Society, The Gideons, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. “It creates a great deal of concern for believers who want to be able to speak about issues, particularly of sexual morality,” says Evangelical Fellowship’s Brian Wilkie.

Wilkie says while the hate propaganda law hasn’t been used very much, there is a concern that, “it will be used much more aggressively when it has these provisions that protect people on the basis of a fairly undefined concept called sexual orientation.” He says Christians have already been targeted because of their beliefs on sexual morality. “At one point, a human rights commission did judge portions of Scripture to actually promote hatred against homosexuals.”

Supports of the legislation say there are protections, but Wilkie isn’t convinced it will help. “There are some protections in this, and amendment that was specifically geared at protecting sacred texts, but they’re in a portion of the legislation that really doesn’t provide a lot of protection, so we’re very concerned about that.”

This new legislation will have an impact on believers there. Wilkie says, “Christians are going to be more careful and trying not to run afoul with this law. But, what we hope is that Christians will continue to do what God is calling them to do and that they will continue to distribute Scripture and that they will be willing to take that chance and take the risk.”

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