Four out of five Christian evangelicals believe the government’s new anti-extremism legislation could affect them, making it harder to spread their faith, according to a new study by the Evangelical Alliance (EA).
65 per cent surveyed agreed that current attempts to define “British values” were a result of Britain’s ongoing identity crisis, 75 per cent said freedom of speech needed greater protection in the UK, and a staggering 81 per cent thought the new legislation would make it harder for them to profess their faith publicly.
David Cameron announced new measures to tackle extremist preachers and anyone spreading extremist ideas in a speech in May, including new police powers to limit what he called the “harmful activities” extremist.
The speech was largely aimed at Islamist extremism, but for reason’s of political correctness it spoke of other religions and “far right” extremism, and “what links them all.”
“Eighty per cent of people surveyed agreed that policies designed to counter extremism may make it harder for Christians to express their faith in public,” director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, Dr. Dave Landrum, told Premier Christian Radio.
“There are concerns about the government is overreacting to fears about radicalisation and terrorism in a way that might undermine the very freedoms that the government is purporting to protect.
“A similar number believe that freedom of speech needs greater protection in the UK than is presently provided,” he added.
Of the 1,700 evangelicals questioned for the survey, the great majority of respondents, 93 per cent, agreed Christianity had strongly shaped historic British values.
However, less than a third, 31 per cent, felt it did so today. Fewer than one in five, 18 per cent, agreed that Britain remains a Christian country.
The Trojan Horse scandal in 2014 saw several state schools in Birmingham effectively taken over by Islamist extremists. Durham Free School was dragged into the following government crackdown, because apparently, the students didn’t know enough about LGBT issues and “didn’t know what a Muslim was.”
It was revealed in May that the Welsh Government is poised to oust religious education and ban Christianity from schools to “rise to the challenge of community cohesion” and “extremism.”