Many Christians self-censor their faith

Many Christians self-censor their faith

More than half of all the Christians living in the UK have experienced some type of "hostility and ridicule" for their faith, a recent study finds.

WORLD JUNE 18. 2024 16:41

The report titled „The Costs of Keeping the Faith” was compiled by the nonprofit Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK) and found that of the more than 1,500 respondents from different Christian denominations and age groups, 56% reported negative pushback for sharing their beliefs in some capacity.

Of those under 35, that number jumped to 61 per cent,

– according to a recent piece by The Christian Post news site.

„Bullying was also reported,” reads an executive summary of the report’s findings, which points out that

„Christians did not feel free to express their views at work. The younger generation appeared to have had more of these negative experiences than the older generation, suggesting that things were getting worse.”

While acknowledging the theoretical legal safeguards for free speech in the United Kingdom, the study claimed that the country has exhibited „some of the highest levels of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe,” which researchers attributed to hate speech laws that have led to a prevalence of „harassment, self-censorship, direct and indirect discrimination.”

The third chapter of the study delves into discrimination, which – according to the researchers – is increasingly reported among younger Christians in the UK. Some of the difficulties were reported in the workplace and ranged from being forced to work unnecessarily on a Sunday to being effectively forced to keep their Christian beliefs to themselves. The fourth chapter dedicates special attention to the National Health Service (NHS), which has seen repeated incidents of Christian employees being punished, such as Mary Onuoha, who was forced to resign from a London hospital for wearing a cross necklace.

The study also goes on to explore some of the anti-Christian sentiment in British education, where Christian parents and teachers say they feel increasingly shut out and discriminated against.

The study suggests that

much of the cultural hostility toward Christians in the UK stems from the LBGT ideology.

Most of the younger Christians they interviewed – who reported worsening persecution – also held to a firm belief in biblical teachings regarding sexuality, gender and marriage.

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians (OIDAC) in Europe issued a statement noting how the study’s „alarming” findings echo some of the trends the observatory has discovered regarding the rise of anti-Christian sentiment in historically Christian countries. The OIDAC in Europe, the OIDAC in Latin America and the International Institute for Religious Freedom compiled a report in 2022, which found that many Christians in Germany, Framce, Mexico and Columbia are silencing themselves.

They found that despite the lack of overt, physical persecution, many Christians in those countries were self-censoring their beliefs to avoid more subtle and pervasive persecution, which the study likened to „death by a thousand cuts.”

„A few cuts do not kill you and barely hurt,” researchers said at the time. „But continuous small strikes eventually have an impact. We posit that the accumulation of seemingly insignificant incidents creates an environment in which Christians do not feel comfortable — to some degree — to live their faith freely.”

And „indeed, Western Christians experience a ‘chilling effect’ resulting from perceived pressures in their cultural environment, related to widely mediatized court cases,” they added.



christianity, europe, uk