Proposed religious hatred law in UK worries Christians

By June 24, 2005

United Kingdom (MNN) — With a vote of 303 to 247 the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill was adopted in principle in the United Kingdom. Christians fear the bill will limit religious expression.

Daniel Thaw works with The Oaks Trust, a youth camping ministry in Sheffield, England, which works closely with Greater Europe Mission. Thaw says, “My prediction would be that the law will be finalized and will stand pretty much as it is, but it will be through test cases in the courts that will actually decide the interpretation.”

That’s what concerns many evangelical Christians, says Thaw. “There will be groups that take that and run with it and use it to say that Jesus is the only way for salvation could quite easily be thrown up in the courts and possibly even end up in jail.”

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats says the bill is too general, too wide and too dangerous. Thaw is asking people to pray. “There could be amendments made. And, even praying for just a small amendment, the odd word here and there might change the emphasis of a sentence in the law and therefore its interpretation by a judge in court in the future. That could be something to pray for.”

The bill now goes to committee, where its critics will have an opportunity to voice their concerns.

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