Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence

Submission from Eatons Evangelical Church


Should existing religious offences (notably blasphemy) be amended or abolished?


  1.  We oppose any abolition or amendment to the existing laws relating to religious offences, including blasphemy. There is sufficient existing legislation in the Race Relations Act to protect the interests of minority faith groups, without new legislation needing to be formulated.

  2.  As Christian people in Britain, we have had to suffer the name of God and of Jesus Christ, being used blasphemously over many years.

  3.  While we are deeply saddened by this, we have not sought to have the law changed or press charges, because those who are not committed Christians cannot be held under the same rules which govern Christian morality and behaviour.

  4.  Christian faith is based on a relationship of Love for God, and can never be forced on anyone. Each and every individual must have the right to decide to accept or reject Jesus Christ and Christian faith for themselves.


Should a new criminal offence or incitement to religious hatred be created, and if so, how should the offence be defined?


  5.  We are opposed to any new law making it a criminal offence to incite religious hatred. Again the current Race Relations Act does protect minority groups, so it is an unnecessary burden on the legislative process.


  6.  We have a historical right and privilege to preach and practice our Christian faith, which is the faith of our forefathers. Such legislation, would curb freedom of speech of Christians in a country where the Christian faith has been embraced for nearly 2,000 years. Until recently, The Bible and Christian faith have been the basis of the laws governing our country. Such legislation would infringe the human rights and the religious liberty of Christians.

  7.  Such legislation, if passed, would give power to other religious faiths to target Christians with a view to securing prosecutions, which would be totally unacceptable. This is a denial of the evidence that the Christian faith has in very large part contributed to the peace, stability ad economy of the country, thus making it an attractive place where so many wish to come and make their home.


  8.  Christians would be restricted from carrying out what is known as "The Great Commission". The words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28 v 18-20.

  9.  This reads: "Jesus . . . said", "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

  10.  The Bible,—the universally accepted Word of God, states very clearly the uniqueness of God, and His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus says in John 14 v 6 "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." In Acts 4 v 12, the scripture reads: "There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."


  11.  Committed Christians seek to live morally upright lives. They seek to work hard, and not to defraud the state. They seek to submit to those in authority according to the Bible, and encourage others to do so. Titus 3 v 1 states "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good." Christians seek to engage in works of mercy and compassion, which enrich the lives of those around them. Because of their lifestyle, they are not a burden on the Justice system or the Prison service. Many prisoners become Christians while in prison. Their lives are transformed and they do not go on to re-offend, thus saving society a huge cost when they become law abiding citizens.

  12.  If Christians who are law abiding and hard working find themselves branded as criminals for simply obeying the word of God, this will become a loss to society of enormous proportions. If the prisons are full of Christians who prefer to obey God rather than men, this will add a crippling financial burden on to society. The influence of Christians living good, honourable and upright lives in the community will be lost, and society will suffer in every way.

1 July 2002

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003