The British government believes that Christians do not have the right to wear a crucifix at work because the wearing the cross is not a “requirement of the faith.”
That’s the position the government is taking in a case pitting British Airways against two women who claimed they were punished for refusing to take off their religious symbols.
Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin claim they were discriminated against after British Airways banned them from wearing a cross and a crucifix.
The European Court of Human Right will determine if the right to wear a cross is protected under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that the government will argue that employees can not only ban the wearing of the cross, but they can also fire workers who insist on doing so.
That position has sparked outrage across Great Britain. Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, accused the government of “dictating” to Christians and said it was an example of Christianity becoming sidelined.
“The irony is that when governments and courts dictate to Christians that the cross is a matter of insignificance, it becomes an even more important symbol and express of our faith,” Lord Carey told The Daily Telegraph.
Andrea Williams, the director of the Christian Legal Centre, said it was simply one more example of the British government and courts cracking down on Christians.
“In recent months the courts have refused to recognize the wearing of a cross, belief in marriage between a man and a woman and Sundays as a day of worship as ‘core’ expressions of the Christian faith,” she told The Daily Telegraph. “What next? Will our courts overrule the Ten Commandments?”