Feedback on the above article:
Doug Flett (Guest) (24/11/2011 11:06)
Maybe sideways rather than underground. The biggest movement of the UK church today is out of its walls and into the community.
George Orr (24/11/2011 17:45)
The church began in the houses and still thrives in houses. People engage best in a small group. It is a place where relationships deepen and often discourages the apathy of being an audience.
Editor (02/04/2012 13:50)
The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon.
Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time.
Tory MP David Davis called it "an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary people. "What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals, it's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access..." See -
The director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, Nick Pickles, went as far as saying this was an unprecedented attack on the very heart of online privacy.
“This is an absolute attack on privacy online and it is far from clear this will actually improve public safety, while adding significant costs to internet businesses. [It’s] an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran.”
Editor (23/04/2012 19:41)
Yesterday a lady who belongs to Hungary confirmed a direct report I received a couple of months ago about the rise of persecution against Jews and the Romany Gypsies in that country.
Today I was sent a copy of a letter from Christian believers in Hungary. It says: "Our church is no longer a church. We have to redo the papers as an association. We are loosing many rights, but the government was not prepared for this step, so many legal steps are not clear. Not even lawyers know how to deal with us.
In the meanwhile our church leadership have had discussions with other registered churches if we would/could join them and under what conditions. We must do all the papers before the end of this month (we had the legal right as a church till the end of February, then two months to change the status.)
Please continue praying for us, and for wisdom and God’s guidance for our leadership.
Editor (10/12/2012 14:10)
ALL MEN WILL HATE YOU because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:13)
[The first article is not about a 'Christian' situation but it illustrates the extent to which authorities can reach right into family affairs - Ed.]
In relation to a local authority who removed children from the care of experienced foster parents allegedly because of the latters' political affiliations one newspaper reported:
"The furore blew up when social workers abruptly moved the children from the foster couple because they considered that their support of the anti-EU party, which attracted nearly one million votes at the last election, made them incapable of fulfilling the East European youngsters’ ‘cultural and ethnic needs.
The family courts operate in strict secrecy to protect the identities of the children involved. It means that evidence given by social workers and their hired medical experts cannot be publicly challenged. Parents who talk publicly about what happens there — even to their MPs — have been sent to prison.
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A trust that runs a Brethren meeting hall in Devon is appealing to the charity tribunal against the refusal of the Charity Commission to register it as a charity. Stephen Cook looks at the case and David Ainsworth profiles the church Earlier this year the Preston Down Trust, which runs the meeting hall of the Plymouth Brethren in Paignton, Devon, was taken aback by a letter from the Charity Commission turning down its application to become a registered charity.The allegation that the commission was discriminating against religious charities was enthusiastically taken up by some Conservative MPs - Charlie Elphicke and Robert Halfon in particular - and The Sunday Times quoted the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, as being "very concerned".
Another report on the same situation stated: "The Brethren church was denied charitable status overconcerns that it does not satisfy the “public benefit” requirement; the lack of public access to the communion services held in gospel halls was specifically mentioned.
Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton, in Westminster Hall on Tuesday (13 November), members discussed the implications of the decision against Preston Downs Trust, which owns gospel halls in Torquay, Paignton and Newton Abbot. Other MPs raised concerns about the wider implications of the Charity Commission’s decision for churches and Christian groups.
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, said: "This is a test case on religion and the thin end of the wedge, particularly given that the Charity Commission’s letter says that even the Church of England would have to prove public benefit."
An early day motion (No. 398) was tabled in the UK Parliament stating: "That this House notes the decision of the Charity Commission to revoke the charitable status of a trust that is part of the Brethren Christian Church, which does a lot of good work for charity and community groups; believes that this is an extremely important test case because it has widespread implications for all Christian charitable trusts; and therefore calls on the Government and all parliamentarians to express their belief to the Charities Commission that Christian groups who are serving the community have the right to charitable status and should not be subject to politically correct bias."
At 10/12/12 it had been signed by 71 Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum
In relation to the removal of a Glasgow congregation from its church building media coverage includes:-
Tron Church member Said Savidoghchi, an asylum seeker from Iran, said: "This behaviour by the Kirk reminds me of the persecution experienced by Christians at the hands of the government of my country, which I left in order to convert to Christianity.
"Under Sharia law, Muslims who convert risk being put to death, so Christians have to worship in secret. I have been struck by the freedom Christians have to worship here in Scotland, but am alarmed at this turn of events."
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For background read -
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