To share or not to share: Understanding the law and gospel freedoms

Dave HallByDave Hall

To share or not to share: Understanding the law and gospel freedoms

A new guide, which examines what the law says about our freedom to share the Christian faith, will be available at the Evangelical Alliance stand (S155).

It comes in the wake of the case of nurse Sarah Kuteh (pictured), dismissed from Darent Valley Hospital in Kent because of complaints that she had been imposing her religious beliefs by offering her personal Bible to a patient. Two years later the Nursing and Widwifery Council (NWC) agreed it was in the public interest for her to return to work.

Christian Concern, an organisation providing legal help for Christians in similar situations, took her case on. Ms Kuteh, who had meanwhile found work in a nursing home – under a series of conditions imposed by the NWC – admitted that it was a mistake to give her Bible to a patient, saying she should have used one from the hospital chaplaincy.

Her nursing home supervisor praised her work as ‘kind, caring and honest’ at the recent hearing after which the NWC agreed to lift the restrictions on her. The Kuteh case and other similar experiences on the part of Christians who have been warned or lost their jobs because of witnessing, has led the Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship to launch a new guide, Speak Up, which examines what the law says about our freedom to share the gospel of Jesus – with gentleness, kindness and also boldness.

The EA’s Richard Godden and Flavio Guaratto will also lead a seminar on the subject (2pm, Thu 18 Oct), highlighting the pitfalls of stepping out of line when witnessing – and the challenges to speak up with honesty and understanding.

As John Glass, chair of the EA council, and former general superintendent of Elim UK, said in the booklet: ‘Those who are serious about sharing their faith owe a huge debt of gratitude to the authors of this timely publication which serves two purposes. On one hand it allays the fears of those who are anxious about infringing legislation and, on the other, rightly reminds us to always witness with sensitivity and respect.’

The law and our gospel freedoms – 2pm, Thu 18 Oct, EA Room

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Dave Hall

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