Letter: Rights of the churches

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your rather cheap jibe "Rights are sacred - except in church" (leading article, 18 May) demonstrates a failure to understand the difficulty of protecting supposedly inalienable rights. Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights affirms the right of everyone to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It makes no sense to protect those rights for individuals but not for groups of individuals - in this instance, the churches.

All the churches have sought in relation to the Human Rights Bill is the freedom to act consistently with our historic beliefs. Those who do not share these are free not to do so. We like the European Convention very well so long as it applies to us all and not just to those who share your prejudices.


Public Affairs Director

Evangelical Alliance

London SE11