Although we tend to think of Europe as more secularized than the U.S.A., there are still some Christians who live in the UK and practice their faith openly.
While Christians in the UK have faced the same threats to religious freedom as Americans, recent victories have given Christians hope and cause for celebration.
The first case is very similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop in the U.S. Gareth Lee entered Ashers Bakery, Belfast and requested that they make a cake with the message “Support Gay Marriage” as well as the logo of Lee.
Lee was a McArthur customer before, but they refused to design any cake that was against their convictions.
McArthurs was sued by Lee, and the Northern Ireland Equality Commission, which is a taxpayer-funded entity, was on his side. He appealed to the UK Supreme Court. The court ruled in their favor in 2018.
Lee, an activist, was not content and took his case before the European Court of Human Rights. The court found that Lee had not invoked the European Convention of Human Rights in his case before it was heard by U.K courts.
This is a technicality in the UK Supreme Court decision, but it stands and McArthurs won.
A Catholic nurse was harassed and discriminated against for wearing a crucifix pendant to work.
Mary Onuoha was employed at Croydon University Hospital since 2001. The cross around her neck was not an issue until 2014. The hospital authorities informed her that the necklace was a safety risk. Onuoha refused the necklace, citing her Christian faith.
Onuoha was humiliated when the hospital refused to grant her repeated requests. The hospital then decided to give her clerical work. She appealed to Croydon Health Services NHS Trust’s employment panel, which was another entity funded by the British public.
Onuoha was awarded the support of the panel, claiming that the hospital had wrongfully treated the nurse.
“It’s amazing that an experienced nurse had to choose between her faith and the profession she loves.” Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, a UK-based organization that promotes religious freedom for Christians, stated that
These are good news for British Christians. These outcomes are positive for British Christians.
Christians should be thankful that McArthur and Onuoha are allowed to live out their faith as they wish.
These stories should encourage us to be brave.