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Peer questions if the UK has lost its 'religious liberties'

by Chantalle Edmunds
william-mccrea3_reference.jpg - Banner image

DUP Peer, Lord William McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown has questioned, in the House of Lords, if the UK is losing its religious liberties.

Beginning his speech on May 18, Lord McCrea welcomed measures to ban conversion therapy: "No one should seek to justify dangerous medical or other practices that are abhorrent, coercive or humiliating in the name of so-called conversion therapy."

However, he stressed his belief that there must be "freedom to carry out legitimate religious activities, such as preaching the gospel, prayer and pastoral support, must not be hindered or criminalised."

"People have a right to seek spiritual counsel, and threatening preachers who fulfil their God-given duty is a serious denial of religious freedom. Indeed, the coverage of this issue is quite prejudiced against biblical Christianity," he said.

He went to ask if we are "losing our religious liberties here in the United Kingdom?" with reference to the arrest of a 71-year-old pastor who was handcuffed for preaching outside a London tube station after complaints were made against him regarding homophobic comments. 

Lord McCrea also mentioned the banning by Blackpool Council of adverts from the Lancashire Festival of Hope, referencing "it took a court’s intervention to overturn that decision." He also added his belief that there is "open hostility to the Christian belief in marriage."

He challenged the Government "to reaffirm their commitment to freedom of speech and religious belief."

The 72-year-old is a retired Free Presbyterian minister.

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