According to a new study by the Observatory of Intolerance Against Christians in Europe (OIDAC), France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom are the top five places in Europe where Christians face the most difficulty practicing their faith.
“Through our research, we identified an increasing intolerance and discrimination from mainly two sides,” OIDAC reported. “First, from the governmental side through legislation, or political discourse that undermines the freedoms of Christians, and secondly, from an individual side, through social exclusion and criminal acts against Christians.”
The study points to “secular intolerance”—defined as “as marginalization or discriminatory exclusion of religion and belief from the public and private domain”—as the lead culprit of the increase of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe.
OIDAC’s research revealed that the U.K. has the most cases of legal prosecution for alleged “hate speech.”
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is currently pursuing legal action against Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) for abruptly canceling its contract to host the first stop on the Graham Tour U.K., which was scheduled for May 30, 2020, at the OVO Hydro venue.
SEC said it had made the decision to cancel following “adverse publicity” surrounding the Tour and pressure from the Glasgow City Council.
At the time, several other venues throughout the U.K. had canceled Tour events because of opposition to Franklin’s Biblical view of marriage and sexuality.
“My message to all people is that they can be forgiven and they can have a right relationship with God. That’s Good News,” Franklin wrote in the March 2020 issue of Decision. “That is the hope people on every continent around the world are searching for. In the U.K. as well as in the United States, we have religious freedom and freedom of speech. I’m not coming to the U.K. to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I’m not coming out of hate, I’m coming out of love.
The trial for the case against SEC began on Dec. 13.
BGEA is hopeful for a favorable outcome based on five other recent religious freedom victories in the U.K., including four similar cases involving venues that reneged on contracts for the Graham Tour U.K., and a case in Blackpool, England, in which the city council unlawfully banned advertisements for a BGEA evangelistic event in 2018.
Above: Scottish Event Campus’ Ovo Hydro venue in Glasgow, Scotland.
Photo: Andrew McKenna/Alamy Stock Photo