Reclaiming religious freedom in the UK

Jan 12, 2018 by

from Barnabas Fund:

This year Barnabas Fund will be launching a new campaign to reclaim the heritage of freedom of religion in the UK and elsewhere which previous generations of Christians endured hardship, persecution and even death to achieve.

“The Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.”

Her Majesty The Queen, Lambeth Palace, February 2012

Barnabas Fund is seeking a new Act of Parliament in the UK to guarantee seven fundamental aspects of freedom of religion. These seven freedoms have developed in the UK by various mechanisms over the last five centuries but are now under threat. A law to protect and guarantee them is urgently needed.

Tracing the heritage of religious liberty takes us back more than 800 years to Magna Carta in 1215.  At that time, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were separate nations; it was long before Great Britain was created, let alone the United Kingdom. So Magna Carta’s ringing call that “the English Church” must be free should not be seen as limited to England. We must see it as an affirmation to be embraced by the whole of the UK, and far beyond, but expressed in the language of its time and context. Indeed, in later centuries, Magna Carta became a rallying cry for the freedoms of all the English-speaking peoples. For example, those who signed the American Declaration of Independence described themselves as “patriots” claiming their ancient rights as Englishmen which had been set out in Magna Carta and subsequent laws.

As we will explain in a new booklet which Barnabas Fund will shortly be launching, Magna Carta’s affirmation that “the English Church shall be free” was gradually worked out over the centuries into seven specific aspects of freedom of religion:

Read here


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