Christianophobia! ‘Christianity not necessarily for public good’ says Charity Commission

Christianophobia! ‘Christianity not necessarily for public good’ says Charity Commission

Perhaps the word Christianophobia is a word you haven’t heard, unlike Islamophobia, or homophobia!.  However, in the last five years, persecuted Christians have been on the rise, from the extreme persecution e.g. India where they are burnt alive, executed or Iran where they are imprisoned or stoned to death. In Europe there has been a systematic stigmatisation and ostracization, compiled with aggressive form of secularization as mentioned by His holiness the Pope Benedict mentioned in his visit to UK in 2010.

Britain once known for its Christian Missionary work all around the world from India to Africa, has become the breeding ground for extreme victimisation and mostly because of their religious belief to share the gospel of truth and stand for the truth they believe in by sharing what a Christian believe is right and what according to the Bible is wrong.

It is no wonder the United Kingdom Charity Commission assigned to regulation and be a watchdog over various charities to see whether they are indeed  a charity providing some kind of benefit to the public has officially concluded that The Church of England in Devon does not exist for public benefit and there refused to grant the the church a charitable status!

In essence Christianity and its charities are irrelevant and not necessary benefiting the public, come 1 or 2 years perhaps the churches will be asked to start paying taxes and change their status to private business.  I would love to know who is on the Charity commission board of this committee, perhaps these are the people termed Christianophobics!

according to Christian Concern

Britain’s charity watchdog has put the charitable status of the nation’s churches in question after it ruled that a congregation in Devon did not exist for public benefit.

Under charity law, churches and other organisations must show that their existence has some form of “public benefit.”

Refusal

But in a letter to the Plymouth Brethren, the Charity Commission explained its refusal to grant charitable status to one of the denomination’s churches in Devon.

Head of legal services for the commission, Kenneth Dibble, stated: “This decision makes it clear that there was no presumption that religion generally, or at any more specific level, is for the public benefit, even in the case of Christianity or the Church of England.”

Investigation

A committee of MPs is currently investigating the Charity Commission. Some of these have expressed concern that the Charity Commission is engaged in a “politically correct” campaign aimed at supressing Christianity.

Charlie Elphicke MP, a Conservative member of the committee who disclosed the letter, said: “The concern of many of us is that they [the commission] are actively trying to suppress religion in the UK, particularly Christian religion, with a kind of north London, Hampstead secularist approach.”

MP for Harlow Robert Halfon, another member of the committee, said: “I think there has been some kind of conspiracy by people in the commission … They are using this group as a test case to have a wider go at Christian groups.

“I believe them to be politically correct.”

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey also voiced his unease at the decision: “I do believe we need to hold the Charity Commission to account as much as they hold religion and any social service to account. I believe Christianity has a … great record in termsof serving the community … education and in all kinds of ways.”

Commission “out of control”

A law introduced in 2006 means that organisations which previously gained charitable status automatically now have to demonstrate “public benefit”.

Professor Peter Luxton, an expert in charity law at Cardiff University, said the Charity Commission’s attempt to define public benefit was “a nonsense,” since the 2006 law did not make any changes to the definition of a charity.

He added: “The commission has been completely out of control.”

This is thought to be the first time the commission has denied charitable status to a religious organisation, opening up the possibility that other Christian groups may lose out.

“This is a good time to remember the huge public benefit that Jesus Christ has brought to our nation,” said Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern.

“In his life and teachings, he promoted the values of service, compassion, generosity and tolerance, all rooted in love. The public benefit of such values is not disputed by any clear-thinking person.

“So much of what we hold dear as a nation – including healthcare, education and just laws – has arisen from Christian ideas.

“The Charity Commission does indeed need to be held to account over its decision and I hope the Public Administration Select Committee will have every success in doing so”.

4 Responses to “ “Christianophobia! ‘Christianity not necessarily for public good’ says Charity Commission”

  1. One Fellowship says:

    There is a basic problem here of not conducting even basic research into what the Charity Commission has actually said, or who the supposed “Plymouth Brethren” really are. This is a fundamental flaw. MP’s and Media appear to have jumped on a bandwagon without investigating some basic facts first.

    First of all the group in question are not Plymouth Brethren, they are in fact the “Exclusive Brethren” led by a “Universal Leader” Mr Bruce Hales based in Australia, and in that country they are known as “The Exclusive Brethren”, where in circles of government they are known as a Cult. The group was formed around 1848 when the Plymouth Brethren had a huge division creating two distinct groups with vastly different practices “Open Brethren” and “Exclusive Brethren”.

    When the decision of the Charity Commission was made, the Exclusive Brethren who had a website under the same name until Nov 2012, choose to re brand themselves as the more innocent sounding “Plymouth Brethren Christian Church”. If you don’t believe me check out the following link –

    http://web.archive.org/web/20110718171429/http://www.theexclusivebrethren.com/

    There is a huge campaign of deceit and mis information being waged by the Exclusive Brethren, some of it very subtle. In talking to the UK Parliament and the Media, they have not been honest about who they really are. They are known to split families if one person leaves the group, they believe through a twisted interpretation of 2 Timothy 2 that all others not in their group are “evil” and “iniquitous”. They will not eat with any not in their group. Despite the impression given they do not follow the King James Version of the Bible as they have led the UK Parliament to believe, but they only use the JN Darby version in al their services. They only follow that bible through the eyes of their previous leaders interpretations, men such as FE Raven, James Taylor, J Symington.

    The Exclusive Brethren now known under their new disguise of the “Plymouth Brethren Christian Church” are not what they seem, they believe and practice that all other churches, Christian or not, are in error.

    If you don’t believe me ask about their previous leaders. One of the UK representatives a certain Garth Christie who gave evidence to the UK Parliament and appeared on TV in the last few weeks under the banner of the “Plymouth Brethren Christian Church”, also appeared in the BBC Documentary “Everyman”, in 2003 under the banner of representing the “Exclusive Brethren” – total hypocrisy. (search for the program on You Tube and watch it)

    Why did the Exclusive Brethren aka Plymouth Brethren Christian Church try to draw all Churched nominations into the debate when the Charity Commission specifically stated in a letter to the brethren on 7th June 2012 that –

    ““this case as confined to the circumstances of the individual group. The forthcoming appeal also relates to this individual organisation, not other religious groups”.

    As ever its all about checking and re checking facts and asking probing questions first, before jumping on a bandwagon.

  2. One Fellowship says:

    In addition to my previous post

    Thankfully, there has been an excellent speech by Baroness Berridge in the House of Lords and various MP’s are beginning to see the true identity of this group.

    Baroness Berridge calls for Church Enquiry into Christian Sect

    Start of Speech

    The role of religion in society is recognised in our charity law but this has become contentious in the case of Preston Down Trust. Is this the thin end of the wedge for the charitable status of churches?

    No I would say due to a curious comment in the decision letter from the Charity Commission which says “the question will turn on the doctrines of this religious persuasion” which also explains why none of the main denominations are concerned.

    This religious persuasion are the Exclusive Brethren who sit under the universal leadership of Bruce Hales in Australia. In August they incorporated as the Plymouth Brethren (Exclusive Brethren) Christian Church Limited. I have family in the Hales Exclusive Brethren. They are not the open brethren who are churches or other closed brethren groups.

    The Hales Exclusive Brethren hold to the doctrine of separation, so exclusives cannot live in semi detached houses as this has a party wall with non brethren, cannot eat with non brethren, cannot have friends who are non brethren, cannot join membership groups like trade unions, or the AA. No TV, radio, cafes etc. Attendance in brethren schools only now and work for brethren business. Attending university is banned.

    Is it not contradictory to give gift aid to charities to encourage young people into university and also to groups whose beliefs prohibit that choice for their young people.

    This is a very controlled environment to live and grow up in, and unsurprisingly the preliminary findings of Andrew Mayer’s from Bournemouth University and Jill Mytton are that mental health outcomes are poor. I await with eager interest their full report.

    I spoke to a man last night, who told me of someone currently in the Exclusive Brethren,

    “ Unfortunately the man had been to a pub and been spotted by Brethren brother. He was shut up, for a few months now, so to keep the assembly pure nobody from the brethren can live with him, so the wife and family were moved out by the leadership and they have stopped doing business with him.”

    The man had left but his parents are still in. The only contact is a five minute conversation and he said they will not even have a cup of tea with me. He told me My Lords “I miss my parents so much.” But what about his children, that was the position I grew up in, cut off from your only living grandparent living 8 miles away because I was not Exclusive Brethren.

    This is why the Former Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, once said

    “I believe this is an extremist cult and sect, I also believe that it breaks up families”

    “If this is Christianity it is not as we have known it before.”

    So I thoroughly congratulate the Charity Commission for seeking to deal with this Christian sect but many who would give evidence fear for the implications for family still in. The Charity Commission must ensure that victims can give evidence and tell their story anonymously.

    Groups where there is credible evidence that they harm health, split families and send no one to university can exist in a liberal society but should they be charities, I doubt.

    Religion and public benefit need clarity but we also need clarity on the outer limits on what is acceptable charitable behaviour of religious groups.

    But the Exclusive Brethren is a matter for the church collectively and I believe there needs to be a church led enquiry into the Exclusive Brethren, this Christian sect, a theological and psychological enquiry. Perhaps chaired by a former Archbishop. It is not a noble or honest response to seek to deal with fudgy law but turn a blind eye to these victims. The Exclusive Brethren maintain these assertions are without foundation so they should welcome such an enquiry.

    Victims can be hard to find, but I hope many ex-Exclusive Brethren will hear this debate so please check my website as I will host an event in parliament early next year for ex-Exclusive Brethren so parliamentarians can hear their stories. Parliament is open to all and you do not have to have the riches of the Exclusive Brethren for your voice to be heard.

    My apologies to the noble Lord Singh not to have a celebratory type speech but I cannot get out of my mind that a young person might be listening to our debate, in a brethren school who might want to go to university and it is important that we say this is not wrong.

    End of Speech

    To watch the speech on Parliament TV visit: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=11763

    For a transcript of the speech please read the Hansard for the day: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard

    Full article: http://baronessberridge.com
    Also read http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/11/exclusive-brethren-the-whole-truth.html

  3. John Handel says:

    The best thing to listen to clarify what this issue is all about is Peter Bone speech:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9779000/9779638.stm

    This shows persons posting comments against my friends the Plymouth Brethren are just personal for whatever reason drives them on.

    All religion should rally to support the Plymouth Brethren in their efforts to fight the Charity Commission decision that they are not for public benefit.

  4. John handel says:

    Christianity is clearly under attack.
    We need to all rally together in the fight for religious freedom.

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