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I was down to do the Radio 4 Sunday Programme at the weekend, but at the last minute told by the programme that the Christian Legal Centre was refusing to discuss with me the cases of the four Pentecostal Christians whose complaints are being taken to the European Court of Human Rights.
In February 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that B&B owners acted unlawfully when they turned away a gay couple. Some have claimed that this is putting protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation above religious rights. But this is a false distinction.
Last week I set out 5 tests by which to evaluate Nicky Campbell’s BBC television documentary on alleged Christian ‘persecution’ in the UK, which was broadcast tonight, on Easter Sunday.
Ekklesia has been examining these issues closely since 2004. We produced a book which analysed the reasons for feelings about 'persecution' and predicted the growing trend towards confrontation over this, back in 2006. We also did a report in the same year on one set of conflict situations in universities. It suggested an alternative approach which was welcomed by Government and others involved. We have also spoken to many of the actors caught up in similar cases, on all sides, as well as observing what has been going on behind the scenes.
This is quite hard for me to write, as I know Nicky through doing BBC1's 'Big Questions' TV programme. It is right to be honest however, particularly given the work we have done in this area. (I am aware however it could lose me the Big Questions gig, as criticism seemed to lose me Thought for the Day, but here goes anyway....!)
The problem is they know not what they do. The Sunday Telegraph today reports on a "Westminster 2010 Declaration" from conservative church leaders.