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Fires at Christmas in Churches in Austria and France 31. Dezember 2012

Filed under: Christenverfolgung — Knecht Christi @ 13:54


The worldwide Christian family is especially united at Christmas. Our thoughts go especially to those Christians in Nigeria who suffered terrible attacks.

In Europe, some Churches were set on fire… and UK baptist Celestine Mba lost in court: she now has to work on Sundays or quit her job.



Nativity Scene Burnt Down in a Church in Savoy

Country: France – Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance  – Attack against: Faith – Nature of attack: Private  – Tags: Vandalism (form of hate crime)


December 2012: The nativity scene at the Church of Barby in Savoy was set on fire on Tuesday, December 18th, between 7 and 8 in the evening. The sacristan reported that it is not the first instance of attack the Church has experienced. The day after several parents and children of the parish set up a new nativity scene.

{Source: www.christianophobie.fr}







High Court Rules No Right for Christians to Decline Sunday Work

Country: United Kingdom – Category: Government Restrictions – Attack against: Faith – Nature of attack: Governmental – Tags: Freedom of Religion

December 2012: A new ruling by a High Court judge says that Christians have no right to decline working on Sunday as it is not a “core component” of their beliefs, considering that „many Christians work on Sundays“.

Opponents say the decision puts Christians at a disadvantage to other religions. The 57 year-old Clestina Mba, from Streatham Vale, south London, is an active member of a Baptist church. Before Celestina began working for Brightwell Children’s Home in London, she agreed with her employers that she would not work on Sundays in accordance with her Christian beliefs. The Tribunal expressly found that Ms Mba thought that she genuinely believed that her religious position would be accommodated in full. However, the Council changed the arrangement after she commenced her employment and said that the arrangement was temporary, forcing her to choose between her job or her Christian observance. Celestina tried hard to make things work and said she would be happy to accept less pay or to work night or Saturday shifts. Colleagues offered to take on her shifts on Sundays. The Council chose not to accept these offers.

We thank Christian Concern for reporting: www.christianconcern.com

Daily Telegraph: www.telegraph.co.uk








Three Churches Set on Fire in Amstetten


Country: Austria – Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance – Attack against: Faith – Nature of attack: Private – Tags: Vandalism (form of hate crime)

December 2012: On December 23, three churches were set on fire in the small town of Amstetten, lower Austria. One of the churches was severely damaged. The alleged suspect – a young man – seemed confused and did not explain any motives. There is no further information available yet. Since the aggression was directed only against churches in the area, it is not unlikely that his intent was anti-Christian.

Sources: Public TV and news agency ORF: http://noe.orf.at/news/stories/2564381/

Source and copyrights of fotos: www.fotoplutsch.at




Sunday working is fine, judge tells Christian

Celestina Mba, who lost an appeal against her former employers earlier this month



Christians have no right to refuse to work on Sundays, rules judge


Judges have been accused of diluting the rights of Christians after a key judgment on whether they can refuse to work on Sundays.


A new ruling by a High Court judge – the first on the issue in nearly a decade – says that Christians have no right to decline working on Sunday as it is not a “core component” of their beliefs. The judgment – which upholds an earlier decision – means that individual Christians do not have any protection from being fired for not working on Sundays. Campaigners said the decision puts Christians at a disadvantage to other religions and means the judiciary are deciding what the core beliefs of Christians can be, which they say is an interference in the right to practise religion. The judgment was issued by Mr Justice Langstaff as he ruled on an appeal brought by a Christian woman who was sacked after she refused to work on Sundays at a care home. Celestina Mba claimed the council she worked for pressured her to work on Sundays and threatened her with disciplinary measures – even though other workers were willing to take the shifts. The 57 year-old, from Streatham Vale, south London, worships every Sunday at her Baptist church, where she is also part of the ministry team offering pastoral care and support to the congregation. She said that when she took the position in 2007 providing respite care for children with severe learning difficulties at the Brightwell children’s home in Morden, south-west London managers initially agreed to accommodate the requirements of her faith. But within a few months of starting the job, Miss Mba said managers began pressuring her to work on Sundays. She found herself repeatedly allocated Sunday shifts and threatened with disciplinary measures unless she agreed to compromise her church commitments, meaning she had no alternative but to resign from the job she loved, she said.


The care worker launched an unsuccessful legal claim in February this year and this month lost her appeal in the High Court. Her constructive dismissal case was funded by the Christian Legal Centre which instructed Paul Diamond, a leading religious rights barrister. Mr Justice Langstaff, who as president of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is the most senior judge in England and Wales in this type of case, upheld the lower tribunal’s ruling which said it was relevant that other Christians did not ask for Sundays off. The fact that some Christians were prepared to work on Sundays meant it was not protected, the court said. The senior judge said that a rule imposed by an employer which affected nearly every Christian would have a greater discriminatory impact than one which only affected a few. There was evidence that many Christians work on Sundays and this was relevant in “weighing” the impact of the employers’ rule, and the earlier decision did not involve an error of law, he added. Campaigners said the ruling showed that Christians are being treated less favourably than people from other religions, such as Muslims, Jews and Sikhs. They pointed to cases where the courts offered protection to other religions even when only a minority of adherents were affected.


In 2008 Sarika Watkins-Singh, then 14, successfully claimed she was a victim of unlawful discrimination because she had been excluded from school in Aberdare, south Wales, for breaking a jewellery ban by refusing to remove a “kara” bangle which she said was central to her faith. But in her case the court did not examine how many Sikhs wanted to wear similar items of jewellery. The judgment in Miss Mba’s case will fuel concerns that judges are promoting secularism. A report from the cross-party Christians in Parliament group warned earlier this year that there was a lack of religious literacy among judges, politicians and officials. Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, said of the latest ruling: “The court in this case created an unrealistic test which means that people like Celestina who wish to respect the Sabbath will be forced out of the workplace. “The court seems to be requiring a significant number of adherents of the Christian faith to observe a particular practice before the court is willing to accept and protect the practice. “In the past year we have seen mandatory tests of faith in relation to the wearing of crosses by Christians, belief about marriage between a man and a woman and now observing the Sabbath when in all cases reasonable accommodation could have been made. “Such tests do not appear to be similarly applied to Muslims who are permitted to wear the hijab and observe prayers and Sikhs with the kara bracelet”.


In 1994, when Sunday trading in England was liberalised shopworkers were given a guarantee that working would be strictly voluntary, but the guarantee did not apply to people in other sectors. The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations, published in 2003, say employers must justify Sunday working as a “legitimate business need” and does not give a blanket right to Christians not to work. If employers fail to treat staff fairly and proportionately, the employee may be able to claim discrimination, the rules add. The last ruling by judges was when a quarry worker claimed his Christian beliefs had been treated with “contempt” by employers who tried to force him to work on Sundays in 2003. Stephen Copsey lost his case at the Court of Appeal in 2005, with judges ruling his employer had “compelling economic reasons” for insisting that he worked on Sundays. Yvette Stanley of Merton council, Miss Mba’s former employers, said it did its best to allow religious practice but also had a duty to meet the needs of the disabled children for whom it cares and added: “We are pleased with the outcome of this second tribunal. Staff recruited in the respite care service are advised that it is by its nature a weekend service”. {Source: www.telegraph.co.uk}


Related Articles

Christian’s battle over Sunday shift 19 Feb 2012

Christians: no ‚right‘ to wear cross 10 Mar 2012

Gay marriage could lead to ‚unforeseen consequences‘ 29 Dec 2012

Archbishop: Government shouldn’t ‚meddle‘ in right to wear cross 11 Mar 2012

Britain failing to stand up for Christians, say MPs 26 Feb 2012

Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe wishes you a happy new year.

We thank you for your continued interest and support!

For the team of the Observatory,

Gudrun Kugler







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