'Unprecedented attack' on religious freedom in UK

Monday, December 28, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

British flag with London skylineThe Christian Institute is challenging a proposal it argues would further erode religious rights in the United Kingdom.

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) – the British government's education agency – is planning on regulating after-school clubs and summer camps. The Christian Institute's Colin Hart has sent a letter to the Department for Education concerning the nationwide registration plan for any out-of-school instruction for 19-year-olds and under involving more than six hours in any given week.

Hart acknowledges that "violent Islamist ideology" is being promoted to children in a "small number" of settings.

Hart

"The police and intelligence services need to focus on areas and groups where there is a risk of violent radicalization," he states, adding that a targeted approach to protecting children in such circumstances wouldn't be controversial.

"But the idea of having an Ofsted inspector sitting in your church youth group or Sunday School to see if you're an extremist is, I have to say, highly offensive," Hart tells OneNewsNow. "It would represent an unprecedented attack on freedom of religion in our country."

"It's vital that the Department for Education reconsiders this heavy-handed approach," he concludes.

According to The Christian Institute, the plan is so broad that the agency could go into churches to inspect church play rehearsals, review the script, and any songs that are to be sung. The Institute theorizes the reason the approach is being used is to balance inspection of secular and Christian groups with inspection of Muslim youth programs.

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