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Freedom of speech of the Christian Unions is “assured,” says Home Secretary. UCCF had reacted to Government plans to ‘protect’ Universities from radical ideas which included restrictions to Christian activities on Campus.
Fear amongst Christian Unions (the associations of Evangelical students active in almost all Universities in the United Kingdom) that they would lose much of their freedom of speech has been cooled down significantly after the Government insinuated there would be changes so that “benign” groups on Campus are not affected.
According to the Christian Institute, Home Secretary of the UK government Theresa May gave her assurance that the final version of guidance on the issue will not impede the work of CUs.
Robert Neill (member of the Conservative party) had asked in the House of Commons (UK’s parliament) about the controversial plans to stop terrorist ideas among students. Neill asked for assurance that the final guidance “does not, albeit inadvertently, impede the work of genuine, benign and well-intentioned student bodies such as Christian Unions and other groups that are active within our universities?”
May answered: “I can give that assurance”, and added: “There is no intention to make any impact on the sort of benign organisation to which he refers.”
Later, the Home Secretary said that another contentious proposal – that all campus speakers must submit their speeches weeks in advance – would be clarified as “not necessary” in the final version of the guidance.
UCCF: CHRISTIAN STUDENTS, “NOTHING TO DO WITH TERRORISM”
UCCF, the IFES movement in the UK which unites the Christian Unions, had denounced that ‘anti-terror’ plans would affect Christian students who had nothing to do with radicalism and violence.
UCCF’s Director Richard Cunningham, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees John Lenton, said the guidelines could “easily be used by secular or religious people within our universities” to try to push CUs out of the Campus.
Noting that the foundational tenets of the Christian faith “have nothing to do with terrorism”, the UCCF leaders asked “what possible justification can there be for jeopardising time-honoured freedoms in an attempt to counter Islamist threats?”