When Jesus met for a final time with his disciples before ascending into heaven, he exhorted them to do as he had done and "go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16.15). Often, it can feel like we live in a society where it's increasingly difficult to follow this instruction and share our faith. At times we can even face hostility. However, whatever the uncertainty of its reception, the Christian message must be proclaimed to all people for it tells of the only way that we can be reconciled to the living God. As Romans 10.14 says: "And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
Christians are protected from religious discrimination by strong domestic, European and international legislation, which has been reaffirmed in the courts time and time again. Speak Up, a new resource from the Evangelical Alliance and supported by the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, aims to equip and inspire Christians with confidence and knowledge of the current legal freedoms we have to share our faith.
Through an in-depth report, an easily-accessible summary, and web resources, we hope to enable Christians to speak up confidently, in line with Jesus' advice to his disciples to be "as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" (Matthew 10.16).
Amid the religious illiteracy, confusion and attempts by some to 'chill' the atmosphere for public expressions of Christianity in the UK, we hope that Speak Up will provide a clearer picture of the legal basis for us to talk about Jesus - and will encourage Christians to be more confident in sharing the gospel.
The resource can be downloaded online here.