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Mark 8 v36


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Asher's Bakery Thursday, 13th November
The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, through its Committee on Public Morals, has expressed its support for the Christians who have been targeted by the decision of the Equality Commission, a publically funded, but unelected body, to take civil action against Asher's Bakery.

The Equality Commission is publicly funded and seems intent on using taxpayers' money, in a time of financial austerity in other parts of state activity, to pursue litigation against private citizens for their Christian faith. The members of this Commission are unelected and appear to be using their privileged position to follow an agenda at odds with the convictions of many residents of Northern Ireland.

Asher's Bakery has clearly not refused to provide goods and services to certain sections of the public on the basis of their 'sexual orientation, religious belief and political opinion'. However, it was only at the point where the provision of goods and services in this case conflicted with their Christian beliefs that they refused to print a message on a cake that was contrary to those beliefs.

If proceedings are issued in this case, then the law will have been manipulated in order to discriminate against Asher's Bakery owners for their religious beliefs and right to exercise freedom of conscience in business. For clarity and the avoidance of a potential litany of legal proceedings, the law should be amended to make it clear that there is an overriding protection for the freedom of conscience in the provision of goods and services by the provider.

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland believes that Christians have a duty to love God and their fellow man in accordance with His word contained in the Bible. Tragically, many of the Christian values that were the strength of our society have been eroded and are under attack. As a consequence those who love God's law and believe that it is good for the individual, family and society can face persecution. We pray for the owners of Asher's Bakery as they defend their religious beliefs and for all Christians as they try to live and work in accordance with the Bible in the face of opposition.
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