Campaign after man sacked for saying 'lack of faith caused terminal illness'

By staff writers
December 3, 2009

A new campaign including bus adverts and 'political intervention' has been launched today (3rd December) to reinstate an employee of Wandsworth Borough Council, who was dismissed in July 2009 after allegations he told a terminally ill women that her lack of faith had caused her ongoing illness.

The campaigning by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) on behalf of Duke Amachree has previously been alleged by a journalist on the local paper to be "orchestrated to misinform".

Amachree says the council banned him from saying ‘God bless’ and that he only spoke to the woman briefly to suggest that turning to God may help her.

But the council says the woman was subjected to a half-hour religious barrage by Amachree, during which time he told her that her lack of faith had caused her illness.

The local paper, the Wandsworth Guardian, has been covering the story.

A source informed the local paper: “Mr Amachree told her that she shouldn’t trust doctors and that only God could cure her. He also suggested that she watch a series of videos on miracles if she wanted to be cured.”

Community Correspondent at the paper, Stephen Evans, said: "The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), who are backing Mr Amachree, are behind a well funded and well orchestrated campaign to misinform us."

He continued: "Despite the claims of the evangelicals, this is not a denial of human rights and it has little to do with freedom of speech. It’s about professional working practices, good manners and protecting people.

"Mr Amachree was sacked following a disciplinary where it was revealed that he gave ‘wholly inappropriate and unprofessional advice to a very sick person who has an incurable illness, which caused great upset and distress’".

A council spokesman said: “The hearing heard compelling and overwhelming evidence that the staff member gave wholly inappropriate, unprofessional and unacceptable advice to a member of the public, which caused great upset and distress.

"After the member of the public had complained about his conduct, the staff member disclosed sensitive personal information about that person to the media."

The statement referred to an interview Amachree gave to the Daily Mail, where he said he was told to leave his religion at the work place door and likened it to being told to leave your skin colour at the door.

The council statement continued: "It is also categorically untrue to suggest that this is about a member of staff saying ‘God bless’ or that the council has a policy banning employees from making references to God in the workplace.”

But in its own statement today, the Christian Legal Centre still insisted: "This is one of the most astonishing (cases) for the extreme treatment of a long serving employee when there was no breach of contract and where the supposed ‘misdemeanour’ was the merest mention of God."

Andrea Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, representing Mr Amachree, said today: “Duke’s case is an extraordinary example of the politically-correct but self–contradictory and intellectually and morally bankrupt culture of equality and diversity gone mad."

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