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Christian Today – The Evangelical Alliance is joining with the African & Caribbean Evangelical Alliance in calling on its combined membership, consisting of more than a million Christians to protest next month against the proposed Racial & Religious Hatred legislation.

The Alliances are urging their members to take time off work next month to as part of the protest, and calling for huge numbers of people to gather outside the Houses of Parliament on 11 October, the date that the Bill’s first full debate is scheduled to take place at the House of Lords.

More than 100 Christian groups, churches and denominations are planning a full weekend of prayer and protest against the legislation, which has been seen by many critics as a threat to freedom of speech as well as a threat to evangelism for religious groups.

The weekend will commence with a prayer rally taking place near the famous ‘Speakers’ Corner’ in Hyde Park in central London on Saturday 8 October 2005 at midday. The Evangelical Alliances are calling for as many people to gather for this as possible, and this will be followed by a day of prayer in local churches throughout the nation on Sunday 9 October.

The protest will conclude with a mass protest rally on Tuesday 11 October in Parliament Square at 1pm.

The Chief Executive Officer of the ACEA, Rev Katei Kirby said, “The impact of the proposed legislation will form part of the legacy that we will leave for our children and our children’s children. This is an opportunity for the Church to unite with one voice in prayer and protest to make a difference.”

The Evangelical Alliance is in unity with many other faith organisations and groups, as well as entertainers and secularists, that fear the proposed legislation will greatly restrict the right to freedom of speech in Britain .

Despite large protests, the legislation has already passed through the House of Commons, and now it just remains for the House of Lords to approve the Bill for it to come into effect as law in Britain .

The General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, Rev Joel Edwards said, “We continue to oppose this Bill as a matter of principle because it affects the freedom of speech of every UK citizen. We are committed to defending religious liberty and precious freedoms like free speech. This protest is about pulling people together to be a united voice in opposition to this proposed law.”

Backing this view, Don Horrocks, the Head of Public Affairs at the Evangelical Alliance stated, “Many observers believe the Government is so committed to getting the measures through Parliament that the Bill will inevitably pass into statute law. However, opposition to the Bill, even at this late stage, is not futile. It is quite possible that the Lords may press for amendments that the Government will feel obliged to accept and which could make the Bill less destructive. I therefore urge everyone who believes in the principles of free speech to do everything they can to join the thousands of Christians and others at the rally in Parliament Square on Tuesday.”…[Go To Full Story]