British Evangelicals Fear Government Restrictions of Religion

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Tuesday, February 02, 2016

British Evangelicals Fear Government Restrictions of Religion

The Evangelical Alliance United Kingdom is asking the government to cancel requirements from the prime minister that force religious groups to register children’s activities.


According to Christianity Today, British Prime Minister David Cameron included the requirements in his five-year plan to fight Islamic extremism. Under the requirements, all religious group activities— not just Islamic— for children are subject to inspection.


“There’s a very real problem with violent extremism and radicalization that the government is trying to address, and we support strong safeguarding measures," said Simon McCrossan, the EAUK’s head of public policy. "But these proposals will fail to tackle the problems and instead stifle the work that churches and faith-based organizations do with children and young people across the UK.”


The proposal from Prime Minister Cameron has been called confusing and vague enough that “churches, youth groups, holiday clubs, church camps, Christian festivals, Bible-reading groups, homeschooling events or training courses for those under 19, lasting six hours or more per week, would be subject to registration and inspection.”


Thousands of British Christians are complaining about the proposal, arguing that the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills would become the regulator of religion.


The policies stem from British government investigations that found radical Muslims had allegedly tried to take over the Birmingham public school system.


In a policy following that investigation, the government announced that all education curriculums would include values of “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”



Publication date: February 2, 2016