Defending religious freedom around the world

HRLA’s core business is to defend ordinary Australians such as Jereth Kok and Matthew Squires who find themselves in trouble for expressing their religious views on social media or in the public square.

We know in Australia this basic right of free expression has been under threat for many years now, and the unfortunate reality is this is also the case across other parts of the world.

Christians in the UK, for example, are also being dragged through the courts for expressing basic Christian teachings, demonstrating just how hard we need to work to recapture the cultural understanding of religious freedom. 

HRLA has previously written about a number of these cases, including Kristie Higgs, who was sacked by a Church of England school for expressing concerns on her own private social media page about sex ed lessons for young children promoting same-sex marriage and gender fluidity. After a five-year saga of legal challenges and appeals, Mrs Higgs has now won permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Rev Dr Bernard Randall, a Church of England Minister, was sacked and reported to a terrorist watchdog for a sermon supporting the traditional view of marriage, but despite being cleared by various teaching authorities, is astonishingly still left with the Church of England as the only public body still blacklisting him - all because he taught their own teachings on marriage. 

There’s also Stephen Green who will appeal his conviction  for breaching laws against protesting abortion. The 72-year-old Green simply held a sign up with a bible verse on it but was found guilty because it’s illegal to make an “act of disapproval” of abortion in the exclusion zones.  

Finally, in some good news, we’ve seen UK woman Rachel Meade win a harassment claim against an employer who sacked her for expressing her gender-critical beliefs. And university professor Jo Phoenix won another unfair dismissal and harassment case after being dismissed for her gender-critical beliefs. 

These cases closely resemble that of Jillian Spencer, who is being supported by HRLA in a very similar case.

These cases show the defence of religious freedom and freedom of speech continues to be vital in our society, and it’s something on which HRLA continues to work hard.