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Christian group protests against mandatory LGBT-inclusive curriculum

by Tola Mbakwe

OCOFOR, which stands for Our Children Our Faith Our Rights, held a demonstration at Parliament Square on Saturday to demand that the government allow parents to opt their children out of the LGBT portion of relationships education. 

Following the passing of the Children and Social Work Act (2017), as of September 2020 all secondary schools in England will be required to teach Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and primary schools to teach relationships education.

Tom Akinola, who took part in the protest, told Premier as a Christian parent of four children he's concerned about the curriculum.

"A large chunk of it just goes against our Christian faith. It's normalising LGBTQ relationships and it's being enforced on faith groups," he said. 

"It's gone from being tolerant to now a forceful acceptance which goes against our Christian faith."

Akinola said he was encouraged by other faith groups who have been speaking out against the curriculum and urged Christians to take an active approach to the issue.

"We see Muslims coming out, we Jewish communities coming out, but as Christians we would rather just sit in the armchair, sign a petition off, and pray in our closet, and hope that does the job. But we're increasingly seeing petitions don't do anything," he said.

"We've constantly seen the Christian faith is being persecuted in this country...and it's something that's increasing and that's largely because Christians, especially in this country, don't take a stand.

"In our silence the State assumes that we agree with certain things which go against our Christian faith."

The Department for Education has advised that the lessons are age appropriate and take into account the religious backgrounds of pupils.

It also insists that the lessons "don't promote" LGBT relationships, rather, they educate.

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