|UK Worker Fired for Mentioning God to Client
08 September 2009
A Christian worker in London is paying a heavy price for speaking freely about faith in the workplace.
Government worker Duke Amachree was suspended from his job after telling a terminally ill client to "put her faith in God" for her health.
The woman filed a complaint, leading the Wandsworth Borough Council of London's decision to suspend Amachree after nearly 18 years on the job.
"My ID was removed from me and I was escorted out of the premises," he recalled. "I didn't know what to make of it. I was speechless."
Amachree said following his suspension, he was told not to mention religion at work or to "ever talk about God" and say "God bless." Three months later, he was fired.
"I don't know how I'm going to take care of my wife and our two young children," Amachree said.
Now, the 54-year-old is seeking legal action again the Wandsworth Council, where he worked. The Christian Legal Center will representing him.
The CLC's Libby Blaxall said Amachree never berated any of his clients.
"He simply encouraged the client to put her faith in God," Blaxall said. "Secondly, Mr. Amachree has never breached any of his employer's confidentiality agreements."
Ethics and constitutional law professor William Wagner suggested that cases like Amachree's are putting U.K. democracy to the test.
"The test of a functional democracy, the test of a moral and a good democracy is not one that will suppress speech of ideas that it disagrees, but will protect speech of ideas that it disagrees," he said.
"Christians are being persecuted," Amachree said in response to his case. "We are gradually being silenced. We are suffering and we are scared."
Andrea Williams and the Christian Concern for Our Nation has collected more than 20,000 signatures demanding that British legislators protect the free speech rights of U.K. Christians.
"My dream is that the church will not feel the chilling impact of the anti-Christian tide of legislation that has occurred in this country in recent years, but will boldly proclaim the gospel," she said.
U.K. Christians like Amachree will likely continue to unashamedly share their faith --regardless of the consequences.
Amachree is hoping to get his job back following an internal appeal process this fall.
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