On March 16th, 2023, International Christian Concern reported that eight U.S. House of Representatives members wrote a letter to Rashad Hussain, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, expressing concern about the unfair treatment of Christian beliefs in the United Kingdom. The letter highlights the potential existential threats to freedom of speech, religion, and thought in the U.K. due to the passing of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in at least five municipalities.
Rep. Roy leads Members in rebuking U.K. for harassing Christians
“The U.K. is now on an unsettling path that could potentially result in existential threats to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and even freedom of thought.” – Rep. Chip Roy
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) March 15, 2023
These orders permit government officials to prosecute certain religious beliefs expressed within designated “buffer zones” and are pending legislation to expand the zones throughout England and Wales. The letter was prompted by recent incidents involving the charging of Catholic Priest Father Sean Gough for praying silently outside a closed medical clinic and displaying a bumper sticker with his religious views, as well as other cases involving Christians such as Isabel Vaughan-Spruce and Adam Smith-Connor.
The members of Congress urged Ambassador Hussain to speak out against these specific incidents and pending legislation and stressed America’s interest in seeing the U.K. government affirm these freedoms for all citizens. The letter concludes that it is time for the U.K. to be held accountable and for countries that prosecute Christian beliefs to face consequences from the global community.