No retreat from the public square

Dec 21, 2017 by

By Michael Nazir-Ali, Church of England Newspaper.

I have worked for a number of years with persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, especially in the Middle East and South Asia.Sometimes I am asked about those who feel they are ‘persecuted’ nearer home, in the UK.At one level the comparison is only superficial; Christian faith in the UK does not usually mean putting your life or liberty at risk.


I find, though, that persecution begins with exclusion and discrimination. What is being dismissed from your post for your Christian views on marriage if not persecution? Or being refused as an applicant for adopting or fostering children if not persecution? Or being suspended as a teacher because of your Christian beliefs? Or losing your job for praying with a patient, if not persecution? So many examples can be given.

The family has been under sustained attack in this country for the last 50years. The family is the basis of a stable society.Yet our country has just abandoned the biblical teaching of marriage in public law.These attacks will not stop there.

First, divorce is becoming ever easier with further proposals for no-fault divorce. Marriage is no longer a covenant or contract.There is no accountability for people who abandon a marriage for no good reason.Family patterns are being reinvented and we are being told that fathers are not necessary. Yet all the research shows that fathers are very important for the proper maturing of children.

Second, a person’s birth sex is being disconnected from their gender in society.Yet research at John Hopkins University demonstrates that there is no such thing as a man trapped in a woman’s body or a woman trapped in a man’s body…


… What should we do?We should strengthen our churches and enable believers to be faithful.But the Bible also calls us to witness for the good of society.We cannot abandon this call and withdraw into a holy huddle.We must maintain our public witness in the media and the corridors of power.

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