Christians should be concerned about what is effectively a new ‘blasphemy law’.

Our government now defines ‘extremism’ as “vocal or active opposition to… individual liberty… and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.

This definition will be used by those who hate biblical values and could lead to the criminalisation of Protestant Christianity in England. According to this criterion, every Protestant who has criticised Roman Catholic dogma during and since the English Reformation is an ‘extremist’.

Yet such dissent is why Britain has freedom of speech and religion. There would be no Parliament without the Protestant believers who enshrined vigorous debate in Parliament as the foundation of the British constitution in 1640.

Nearly four centuries later, real extremists will be able to silence all criticism, while the moderating voices of those trying to reform ‘beliefs’ that lead to terrorist activity will be called ‘extremists’ instead.

Roland Parsons

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