Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence

Submission from the Protestant Alliance

  We are very concerned at the proposal to abolish "certain religious offences". How could it be thought right to remove safeguards regarding "disturbing a religious service or religious devotions"?

  The matter of "Religious Hatred" sounds very laudable and right, but who is to define what exactly it is and how it is to be differentiated from the criticism of some religious groups—both their tenets of belief and their conduct—by such as ourselves.

  This historic society was founded in 1845 by The Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury to contend against the Oxford Movement and both Anglo and Roman Catholicism.

  We are sometimes accused by people of very differing religious views of a lack of love because we oppose the errors of Romanism. It is our policy to extend to every Roman Catholic our love in Jesus Christ; we long for them to experientially know Him for He alone can save. It is not love to condone error, or to imply that the fundamental differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity do not exist. It is therefore our policy to preach the Word of God—contend for the Faith—educate and instruct our people in the facts of our great heritage and the manifest lessons of history that support the truth of the Gospel.

  Is the right to oppose what we understand to be erroneous to be taken from us?

3 July 2002

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