An evangelical Christian council worker who was dismissed for gross misconduct has lost his claim of religious discrimination. The British Humanist Association has welcomed the judgment as a sane response to ill-founded and illegitimate claims of persecution of Christians in the workplace.
The tribunal found that Duke Amachree, whose case was supported by the Christian Legal Centre, a Christian lobby group, was ‘fairly dismissed’ from his job as a Homelessness Prevention Officer with Wandsworth Borough Council. The council dismissed him following a complaint from a service user who was distressed when, after she revealed that she had an incurable disease, Mr Amachree used the opportunity to evangelise for his religion in the course of his job and encouraged her to ‘put her faith in god’.
Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive, welcomed the judgment, saying, ‘When we take on jobs of service to others, we need to understand that our own prejudices and preferences come second to the needs of those we are employed to help and serve. The law has very properly upheld that principle today.’
He went on, to express the BHA’s concern about the growing prominence of cases such as Mr Amachree’s: ‘The growing trend for political Christian groups to bring nuisance cases of alleged discrimination is highly alarming. Even when the courts find – as they invariably have – no evidence of discrimination, these lobby groups, instead of accepting this, go on to claim instead that the whole system of law discriminates against them and that the whole of the law should shift to accommodate their prejudices. Theocratic arguments like this, advanced in the name of equality for Christians, need to be exposed for what they are.’
For further comment or information, contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248 596 or 020 7079 3583.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief.