03/16/2023 United States (International Christian Concern) – Eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Rashad Hussain, raising concerns over the United Kingdom’s unfair treatment of Christian beliefs. The letter speaks to an “unsettling path that could potentially result in existential threats to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and even freedom of thought” in the U.K.
The letter, led by Representative Chip Roy, cites at least five municipalities in the U.K. where “Public Spaces Protection Orders” (PSPOs) have been passed. These orders allow government officials to prosecute certain religious beliefs if those beliefs are expressed within a designated “buffer zone.” Furthermore, legislation is pending to expand the zones into other municipalities, including throughout England and Wales.
The timing of this letter comes shortly after a Catholic Priest, Father Sean Gough, was charged for praying silently outside of a closed medical clinic. Gough was also cited for displaying a bumper sticker that shared his religious views. Similar charges have been brought against several other Christians as well, including in the cases of Isabel Vaughan-Spruce and Adam Smith-Connor.
The members of Congress sent the letter to Ambassador Hussain just yesterday, urging him to “speak out against these specific incidents and pending legislation.” The letter continued, stressing the importance of “…America’s interest in seeing the U.K. government affirm these freedoms for all its citizens, regardless of where they might be standing.”
Without pressure from the global stage, countries that prosecute Christian beliefs will continue to do so without consequence. It is time for the U.K. to be held accountable.
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