Christian Life

Religion and Public Service

After Caroline Petrie’s suspension for offering to pray for a patient and her subsequent reinstatement, there are a number of other cases of problems for Christians in public service.

According to the Telegraph, teachers could be disciplined for discussing relgion with their pupils. I’m always slightly suspicious of ‘could be’ news stories, because there is no actual evidence for the issue they are raising.  It would, of course, be innapropriate for a teacher of any faith to attempt to proselytise their students, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Slightly more worrying is the case of a Christian foster mother who has been struck off the fostering list because a girl under her care became a Christian. It becomes obvious reading the story that there was no compulsion at all and that the the sixteen year old girl made an independant decision to convert.

She claims that she did not pressurise the girl, who was put in care after being assaulted by a family member, to convert, and actually tried to discourage her initial interest in Christianity.

“We had a multicultural household and I had no problems helping the young person maintain her faith of birth,” the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Mail on Sunday.

“I have always prided myself on being very professional in what I do.”

She added: “I offered her alternatives. I offered to find her places to practise her own religion. I offered to take her to friends or family. But she said to me from the word go: ‘I am interested and I want to come [to church]’.”

The carer claims that social services from the council, which also cannot be named for legal reason, were aware that the girl was attending a Christian church, but her foster manager became “incandescent with rage” when she was baptised. (read more)

At the age of sixteen, the girl was able to make her own choices in life, but it appears that the council don’t approve or her doing so. I wonder what the reaction would have been if a Christian girl had given up her faith when living with atheist foster parents.

Perhaps the papers don’t have the story correctly, and I’d be grateful if anyone can point me to more information. But as it stands, I find it worrying. Let’s pray for the girl.

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