Christian prison worker Rev Barry Trayhorn worked as a gardener at HMP Littlehey but volunteered in the chapel where he gave a talk to prisoners about sin, which referenced homosexuality.
After being disciplined by his employer for breaching equality laws, Rev Trayhorn took his case to an employment tribunal. He lost the case and appealed, but a judge has agreed with the initial ruling and said Rev Trayorn’s employer acted within the law.
Andrea Williams from the Christian Legal Centre, which supported Trayhorn’s appeal, accused the state of “interfering with the gospel” adding, “The decision in Barry’s case demonstrates the depth of hostility to Christianity in modern, post-Truth Britain and the spiritual blindness of the establishment elites. The decision not only defies law, logic, and common sense, it is a further forewarning about the voicing of Christian teaching on moral and sexual ethics.”
Meanwhile, a Christian NHS worker who was also supported by the Christian Legal Centre has lost her appeal. A judge found the hospital which suspended her for ‘gross misconduct’ had not acted with prejudice or discriminated against Victoria Wasteney on religious grounds.
Wasteney had been suspended from her role as head of forensic occupational therapy for ‘gross misconduct’ for nine months.
A Muslim colleague had written an eight-page letter of complaint which contained allegations that Wasteney had been attempting to convert her. It was said that she had asked her to pray and had given her a book about a Muslim woman converting to Christianity.
The colleague also alleged that Wasteney had put her hand on her knee in prayer for ten minutes, asking God to come to her, and the colleague had reported that she felt as if she was being groomed.
Speaking to the BBC, Wasteney said she was surprised by the allegations, because she thought she and her colleague had become friends over the 18 months they worked together.
Wasteney took her case to a tribunal but the judgement found the hospital had not acted with prejudice or discriminated against her on religious grounds. After losing an appeal in April 2016, Wasteney again challenged the decision. But the judge again ruled her employer acted within the law.
Williams said: “We need a radical review of the balance of rights in this country which is skewed to favour religions and ideologies other than Christianity. This is ironic given that it is Christianity that has given our society freedom, tolerance and hospitality.”