ICC Note: The following article takes a look at numerous alarming cases of Christians in Europe facing hate-speech, job loss, and high levels of hostility for publicly stating traditional orthodox Christian perspectives on sensitive social issues. Even a Christian member of parliament in the UK has had his children bullied in school and has received large amounts of hate mail for taking a traditional Christian viewpoint of marriage. ICC has been carefully monitoring increased hostility towards Christianity both in Europe and the United States.
6/10/2014 Europe (Morning Star News) – Battles over abortion and homosexuality can be white hot, with each side accusing the other of hate-speech and discrimination, but European Christians say merely stating their beliefs or acting in accordance with them has led to hatred and hostility.
Often fought on battlefields where a “post-Christian” mindset is presupposed, European culture wars can produce Christian casualties ranging from threatening vitriol to loss of livelihood.
Paul Coleman, Vienna, Austria-based legal counsel for religious rights group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told Morning Star News that Christians in Britain have been threatened or have lost jobs and/or business for supporting traditional marriage.
“Those who have voiced support for or upheld a traditional or religious view on sexual morality have been penalized in a number of different ways,” said Coleman, originally from the United Kingdom. “Last year Member of Parliament David Burrowes revealed that he had received hate mail and death threats for supporting marriage in parliament.”
Burrowes, founder and chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, has said also that his children have faced bullying at school because of his position, Coleman added.
In 2012 Archbishop of York John Sentamu received a number of abusive and threatening emails after stating that marriage should remain between a man and a woman, Coleman said. That same year, Christian newlyweds Rhys and Esther Curnow were bombarded with hate mail after submitting a petition to the prime minister in favor of traditional marriage.
“The couple received over 100 hate messages and were forced to contact police,” Coleman said.
The Telegraph reported that the couple from Newcastle, who posed on the steps of 10 Downing Street to hand in a 550,000-signature petition against gay marriage, received messages saying they should “rot in hell” and wishing they would become infertile or die of cancer.
Christian hotel owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull received hate mail and abusive phone calls after refusing to provide double-bedded rooms to an unmarried couple in 2009, Coleman said. The same-sex couple reported it to police and sued the lodge for 3,600 pounds.
“Other Christian guesthouses have also been successfully sued,” Coleman said.
Likewise, Christian bus driver Arthur McGeorge was threatened with disciplinary action in 2012 after distributing a petition supporting the then-legal definition of marriage during his work break, Coleman said.
“In 2008, a Christian care home had a 13,000-pounds per year grant removed for refusing to promote homosexual behavior to its elderly residents,” he added. “After more than a year of internal appeals – amounting to 21,000 pounds in legal fees – and after the case was made public, the council eventually backed down but did not offer to pay any of the legal fees.”