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Barnabas Fund vindicated by Charity Comm...

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Barnabas Fund vindicated by Charity Commission

Country/Region: United Kingdom, Europe

The UK Charity Commission has completely exonerated Barnabas Fund after receiving a complaint about one of our Operation Nehemiah booklets.

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On 7 August The Sunday Times carried an article about our campaign against the growing Islamisation of Britain, making reference to our booklet Slippery Slope. Having read the article, a lay Reader in the Church of England then filed a complaint against us with the Charity Commission.

The complainant asked whether Barnabas should be allowed to retain its charitable status when we were engaged in allegedly “divisive” activity. She suggested that “campaigning” against another religion was akin to inciting racial hatred and questioned its public benefit.

The Charity Commission have now sent us their reply to the complainant. After looking at the article and our booklet, they have concluded:

The charity, in its campaigning around “Operation Nehemiah” appears to be acting within its objects, as the campaign can be seen as promoting “the advancement of the Christian faith”. A charity can become involved in a campaign which furthers or supports its charitable purposes.

The Commission acknowledge that the campaign material fits within its aims, and that the booklet quotes sources for the claims that it makes. They quote its statement of intent, not to promote anti-Muslim fear or hatred, but to address seriously the challenge of Islam to society. They then say:

The campaign does not appear to be inciting racial hatred and the charity believes that it has public benefit in that it “is committed to maintaining Christian values of freedom of conscience, speech and religion for the next generation in church and society”.

The response ends:

We are therefore content that the charity, in carrying out this campaign, is operating within its objects and within the terms of our guidance.

The Commission’s letter thus represents complete vindication for Barnabas Fund regarding the nature and conduct of our campaign.

Since the complaint was lodged, we have been contacted by another person who is deeply unhappy about our policy of supporting only Christians, and who also intends to report us to the Commission. But the recent ruling demonstrates how careful we are to act within both the law and the charitable objects stated within our Articles of Association, and we are confident that any future complaints will receive a similar response.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:

We warmly welcome this positive response from the Charity Commission and its exoneration of our Operation Nehemiah campaign. We have been deeply saddened that some Christians regard Barnabas Fund as preaching hatred when we raise the plight of the persecuted Church and the growing influence of Islamism and its impact on the Church and the Christian heritage and liberties of Western society. We are unshakably committed to our stated goals and will continue to pursue them with vigour, for the sake of our Lord’s persecuted people at home and abroad.

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    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 10 hours ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

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