A British High Court judge has ruled that Christians can be fired for refusing to work on Sundays because the day is not a “core component” of their beliefs.
The judgment upholds an earlier decision and means that Christians have no protection from being fired if they refuse to work on Sundays.
The decision puts Christians at a disadvantage compared with other religions. The Telegraph reports that campaigners asserted that the ruling also means that the judiciary can decide what Christians’ core beliefs can be, which is an interference in citizens’ right to practice religion.
Justice Langstaff issued the judgement during a case brought by a Christian woman, Celestina Mba, who was fired after she refused to work on Sundays at a nursing facility.
Mba was forced to quit after the council she worked for repeatedly pressured her to work on Sundays, threatening her with disciplinary measures, despite the fact that other workers were willing to take her shifts. The woman goes to worship service every Sunday and is involved in her church’s ministry team.
But her involvement in her church was not enough to persuade the judge that she, and other Christians, have the right to request Sundays off to attend church.
In delivering his decision, Langstaff stated that it was relevant that other Christians did not ask to have Sundays off. MSN Now notes, however, that Christian groups protesting the ruling have highlighted cases where courts ruled to offer protection for religions, despite the fact that only a minority of followers were impacted.
Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, stated of the ruling against the woman who was forced to resign after she refused to work Sundays:
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 … 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.”
Do you think that the judge’s ruling was the right thing, or should Christians be able to refuse working on Sundays, because of religious practices.
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