The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and a Scottish church have filed a lawsuit against the Robertson Trust, alleging they were booted from their rental property because the Robertson Trust did not like their religious views.
According to statements obtained by The Christian Institute, Stirling Free Church minister Reverend Iain MacAskill asserted that his church is thriving and "welcomes all people and preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ."
He added, "We were shocked to be told we could no longer use the Barracks for our Sunday services. We had negotiated with the Trust in good faith and their contract expressly refers to us using the premises for religious worship."
CBN News reports that Stirling Free Church and the BGEA both assert the reason they were booted from the property was their Christian faith.
BGEA spokesman Roger Chilvers said in a statement, "We made it clear to the venue at the time of booking that we are a Christian organisation. It was only later that they came back and said they were cancelling our booking because of our religion. It is a neutral space, offered to the public at large. You can't have a situation where religious groups are banned from hiring neutral spaces. That is not a free society. This is anti-religious discrimination, plain and simple, and we are hopeful the court will uphold our claim and recognize the inequities present in this case."
Additionally, Stirling Free Church made statements arguing that the organizations were kicked out of the space because they believe same-sex marriage is wrong.
According to MacAskill, "The Free Church believes marriage is between a man and a woman – a mainstream Christian belief shared with the Church of Scotland and the Church of England."
It also appears the staff seemed embarrassed when they had to give Stirling Free Church the ax, indicating the problem was likely a board decision and did not arise from complaints among the staff present on-site. Additionally, there isn't any evidence anyone on the premises hated the church.
"We had no problems with Trust staff during our negotiations. The staff seemed embarrassed when they had to tell us they were terminating our arrangement," MacAskill said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Eccolo74
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.