Bernadette Smyth, who
leads the pro-life
group Precious Life, was
December of harassing Ms Dawn Purvis, the
manager of a Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast.
She has been ordered to complete 100
hours community service, play £2000 of
compensation to Purvis and not to go nearer than 20 yards of the abortion clinic for the
next five years.
The Christian Institute
Large numbers of Muslim women are in
polygamous relationships that deny them
basic legal rights, according to a report of 12
The study of 50 women, by a Muslim
women’s rights group, showed that many are
being trapped in religiously sanctioned ‘marriages’ and are often unaware that these unions
are not recognised by British law. Only one in
ten of the marriages described were legal under
News from 1984
The Christian Institute
In mid-December, the Greater Manchester
police chief constable warned that the UK is
in danger of becoming a ‘police state’.
Sir Peter Fahy’s warning came after
Home Secretary announced proposals
Extremist Disruption Orders, which both
Christians and secularists have warned could
damage free speech. He said that defining the
speech and extremism
should be the job of wider society and the state
should not risk turning the police into the
Living and dying
The Right to Life Charitable Trust
The Assembly of Wales in Cardiff debated
and rejected a motion in mid-December
calling for the assembly to support the
principles of Lord Falconer’s Assisted
Dying Bill, which is being debated in the
House of Lords.
Twelve assembly members voted to support the motion and 21 voted against with
20 abstentions. The Bill would affect the law
in both England and Wales.
CofE and suicide
the Church of England’s
General Synod will meet to hear calls for
canon law to be changed, so that clergy who
use the Church’s rites to bury those who
have committed suicide are no longer in
breach of the law.
Under current Church law, clergy are supposed to use a modified funeral service. The
vast majority of the Synod is expected to support the proposed reforms.
Climbdown on schools?
It was reported in late December that the government has made a ‘climbdown’ in response
to concerns around the independent school
standards of September 2014 which resulted
in Ofsted downgrading
faith schools, or
threatening them with potential closure.
However, no amendments have been made
to the regulations, but non-statutory guidance was produced that clarifies that it is ‘not
necessary for schools or individuals to “promote” teachings, beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own, but nor is it acceptable
for schools to promote discrimination against
people or groups on the basis of their belief,
opinion or background’.
Refusal to renew
Core Issues Trust
The Association of Christian Counsellors
(ACC) has refused to renew the organisational membership of Core Issues Trust
(CIT) as of 31 December 2014.
In a letter to CIT the ACC Executive said
‘your response to our request for compliance
is not acceptable as it adds too many caveats’.
CIT director, Mike Davidson, said:
Trust is unable to comply with the ACC's
demand that no attempt should be made to
transform or change homosexual
feelings using counselling. We have therefore
been expelled – ACC no longer subscribes to
orthodoxy in this regard.’