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Threatening Religious Liberty

Threatening Religious Liberty
Six faith leaders in the United Kingdom have united to oppose the government’s plan to relax Sunday Trading Laws. But who should decide how a person should worship—the government or an individual’s conscience?

It has a ring of truth. In the opening lines of an article by Tim Ross, in the Telegraph, writes, “Plans to allow large shops to open for longer on Sundays will damage family life and do nothing to boost the economy, an unprecedented alliance of Christian leaders warns today."

Damage family life? Who wants to harm the already crumbling structure of the family? Let’s do something about it!

Senior leaders from the UK’s largest denominations (the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, the Church of Wales, the United Reform Church and the Salvation Army) have joined forces to oppose the government’s plans to further deregulate Sunday Trading Laws. They state: “We are concerned that the further deregulation of Sunday Trading laws is likely to disrupt the rhythms of community life that are so integral to the common good.”

There’s no question that today’s families need help. But what is of concern is not the diagnosis of this challenge, but the misguided prescription. Using the power of government to direct a person’s choice to worship or not worship, to do business or not do business on any day he or she chooses, impacts one of the most fundamental freedoms of humanity—religious liberty. We are warned about this kind of religious oppression in the Bible (see Revelation 13:17).

Christians should defend an individual’s right to worship according to his or her conscience regardless of their religious persuasion. Historically, when the church and state have united their efforts to enforce religious practices, it has eroded society and weakened spirituality.

Click here to hear more about religious freedom and liberty of conscience.

Also in the news…

Girls’ basketball team might forfeit state title game. The coach of this team is a Sabbath-keeper and would rather lose the game than disobey God’s commandment to honor the seventh day.

West Virginia Senator Demands Judge Stop the Senate from Meeting on Sunday. Sen. John Unger (D-Berkeley), who is also a pastor, wants a judge to prevent the state senate from meeting on Sundays. Should the state enforce a form of Sunday legislation on all senators regardless of their religious persuasion?