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UK Religious Hatred Law

1 February 2006

Thank you for your prayers and hard work

The House of Commons voted last night on the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, and accepted the amendments which had been proposed by the House of Lords. The bill will now become law.

The amendments make it considerably more difficult than the government had planned to obtain a conviction of inciting religious hatred. Someone charged with inciting religious hatred would have to be shown to have used "threatening" language or behaviour and to have had the "intention" of fomenting religious hatred.

This should mean that it is possible to discuss and critique other religions, to preach the uniqueness of Christ, and to draw attention to the persecution of Christians in Muslim contexts.

Praise and thanks

We praise God and rejoice in this surprise result, and would like to thank all Barnabas Fund supporters who have been active in praying and working for this. We know that many have written to their MPs or in other ways drawn attention to the complex issues around this subject and the dangers which were posed to free speech, community relations and religious liberty as well as to the work of Barnabas Fund. We believe that this had made a real difference.

The love of Christ

As Christians, we are called to love with the love of Christ people of every faith and none, even though we may profoundly disagree with their beliefs, ideologies and value systems.