Are British Christians Losing Their Influence?
- By Kyle Glatz --
- 19 Mar 2015 --
A recent study has found that British Christians are afraid that their faith is losing its influence on their society.
The new laws that are governing the protection of religious beliefs and freedoms in the United Kingdom have many British Christians worried that their faith is losing its importance in society. A recent report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found that “some Christian employers, service users and providers” believe Christianity has “lost status” due to the new legislation that guarantees equality to religions and offers them protection under the law.
The Report Findings
This report asked over 2,500 British citizens about their experiences in the workplace as it pertained to religion. The majority of the findings that were issued by the report were positive, and found that more people believed that they worked in an inclusive workplace where they were given days off to attend to religious matters. These individuals even felt comfortable when they were discussing their own religion in their places of employment, rather than feeling embarrassed or marginalized.
However, a fair amount of Christians who took part in this survey said that they fear that their faith is losing its place in society. They also felt like they were under intense pressure to keep their religion hidden from others at work, including not wearing religious symbols.
Losing Its Place
The British Evangelical Christians who reported negative working conditions mentioned that they consistently ran into the problem of not having their religious needs met while others had theirs taken into consideration. For example, certain religious headscarves and garments are being allowed to be worn in workplaces, but beliefs regarding sexual orientation were consistently ignored or met with criticism. In the case of the Christians who felt that their religious beliefs were not being met, they said they felt as though they were being “mocked as bigots” for having certain beliefs.
This is all part of a trend that some of the more conservative Christians believe is related to having more equality laws and integration of what they perceive to be outsider religions. While they have come out to defend what they believe to be their rights, the EHRC reported that some British Christians “wanted to be able to discriminate on the basis of their religion in employment (for example, when recruiting new staff) and when providing goods, services and facilities.” Most of these Christians certainly do not view their religious beliefs as discriminating, but more as facts of life.
With a changing religious and social paradigm for the British, it is unclear whether laws will be introduced to grant additional protections for Christians, or if they will have to adapt to the changes in the workplace by repressing their religious standards.