Rev Dr William Philip

Why Will the Police Allow Muslim Protestors to Gather Outside Batley Grammar School, But Not Christians in a Church on Good Friday?

by Rev Dr. William J.U. Philip I was shocked, but sadly not surprised, when my phone pinged with whatsApp message passing on a video (now viral on social media) of police breaking up the Good Friday Church service of a church in south London. The video, embedded in a tweet by Giles Fraser, showed a policeman standing at the lectern announcing that “this gathering is unfortunately unlawful under the coronavirus regulations we have currently. You are not allowed to meet inside with this many people under law”. He then told the congregation to go home immediately, threatening them with £200 fines, and arrest. The tweet which included the video asked “What have we come to?” The police inventing new laws, it seems. It is certainly not unlawful for churches to be gathering for congregational worship anywhere in the UK. This has been so in most of the country since last July, apart from brief periods of closure for a few weeks in England and Wales in the autumn. In Scotland, where I minister, it was unlawful until a Judge in Scotland’s highest court struck down the Scottish Government’s law on the 24th March following a successful Judicial Review. In a ruling which sets a very important precedent for the whole of the UK, Lord Braid accused the Scottish Government...

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December 2022
Free Speech Union

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