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Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill raises an outcry from evangelicals.

By May 23, 2005

United Kingdom (MNN) — Evangelicals in the United Kingdom are concerned about a bill before Parliament that would ban incitement to religious hatred. Basically, the purpose of the bill is for “extending to all religions the legal penalties for incitement to hatred which exist for some.”

While the bill’s intention sounds noble, the Evangelical Alliance argues that the new law could undermine freedom of speech and create inter-religious tensions. It’s also argued that the new law could be used to prevent debate and criticism of another person’s religion.

This is the third time the government has tried to pass this law. It was dropped from a previous debate only because time ran out before the May 5th general election.

The penalty for breaking this law is up to seven years in jail, and that has Christians concerned that it could be used to criminalize preachers. It could have a chilling effect on evangelism and how Christians share their faith. Pray that Christians would speak out against this bill and that it won’t be passed.

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