LONDON – A Christian advocacy group has launched a new campaign defending the right of Christians to express their faith and beliefs in the public square.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is among the supporters of the nationwide "Not Ashamed" campaign launched by Christian Concern for Our Nation, based in London.
The campaign criticizes the discrimination some Christians have experienced in school or the workplace as a result of being open about their beliefs.
It points to the recent high profile cases of Gary McFarlane, a relationships advisor who was dismissed by Relate for refusing to counsel same-sex couples, and Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was taken off wards after refusing to remove her crucifix.
As part of the campaign, the group is asking Christians to wear the "Not Ashamed" logo during Advent and on December 1, which it has declared "Not Ashamed Day."
Lord Carey is writing a leaflet to accompany the campaign in which he explains why Jesus Christ is good news for all. Christian Concern is hoping to deliver the leaflet to every household in the country.
The group's founder, Andrea Minichiello Williams, said the Pope's visit to Britain last week had highlighted the attempts of some people to remove Jesus from public life and confine faith to the private sphere.
"This has meant that many Christians have felt unable to speak and live out their faith, or confused and bewildered at what they are allowed to say and do in public," she said.
Williams said the campaign was about giving Christians at the grassroots the courage to stand up and be counted and to "fearlessly declare that they are not ashamed of who they are or what they believe in."
"It is time for the Church to find her voice again," she emphasized. "We are praying that this campaign will achieve just that by igniting a flame in Christians such that they find their voice and place in public life.
"The Not Ashamed symbol of the cross is designed to act as a reminder of the hope that is found uniquely and supremely in the Lord Jesus Christ."
On the Web: www.notashamed.org.uk