Christians in U.K. launch ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign
Christians in the U.K. launched recently a nationwide campaign to declare their faith openly amid growing hostility to the church.
The Not Ashamed campaign, which is headed by Christian Concern, is supported by Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, according to Christian Today.
The campaign was launched even as a recent report by Aid to the Church in Need, under the Roman Catholic Church, cited Christianity as the most persecuted religion in the world, according to Church times.
Christian Concern said the purpose of the campaign is to engage the nation in a “robust” debate about where the faith stands in modern Britain, according to Christian Today.
In a leaflet, Carey said the U.K. has a rich legacy in Christianity which permeates aspects of its society including its healthcare, education, culture and legal system, and yet it is “under attack,” Christian Today reported.
Carey noted that Christian believers are being penalized for their faith and said that nonetheless, Christians should “wear their faith with pride,” and not allow it to be airbrushed from public life, the Press Association said.
He said Christians are suspended from their jobs if they wear crosses or offer to pray for others, adding, “Christianity is a public religion, always has been and always will be,” according to Press Association.
Carey also cited how Christianity is being taken out of Christmas. He wrote in his leaflet, “The cards that used to carry Christmas wishes now bear ‘Season’s greetings.’ The local school nativity play is watered down or disappears altogether,” Christian Today reported.
Carey also noted that the phrase “winter lights” is being used instead of “Christmas decorations,” as though Christmas is something to be embarrassed about. He blamed this on a blend of “well-meaning political correctness, multiculturalism and overt opposition to Christianity,” according to Christian Today.
The Not Ashamed Declaration of Christian Hope, signed by some 15,000 Christians, urged the government, leaders and employers to protect Christians’ freedom “to participate in public life without compromising biblical values,” Christian Today reported.
Other supporters included Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali (former bishop of Rochester), Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo (head, Barnabas Fund) and Rt. Rev. Donald Allister (bishop of Peterborough), Christian Today said.
Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association said that the campaign was a show of desperation with “no basis in reality. The assumption behind it is that there is a groundswell of discrimination and persecution of Christians in Britain, but the assumption is false,” according to Church Times.
Olive Jones, 55, was dismissed from her job as a teacher because she offered to pray for a sick pupil. She said, “I believe that the things that we value in this country such as education and the NHS have their foundations in Christianity. Christians have fought hard to help others and the weaker people in the community,” Press Association reported.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of Christian concern said that every day she meets Christians who encounter trouble in their jobs when they live out their faith. She told Church Times, “We want to champion our Christian heritage and stand up for our freedom, not just for the sake of Christians but for everyone in society.”