22 October 2015
Comment on the government's counter-extremism strategy
“We recognise the challenges to government of finding a balance between providing security and protecting freedoms.
“It is right that we act decisively to address the issues of radicalisation and terrorism that undermine the rule of law and attack our way of life in the UK.
“However, we are concerned that the definitions of ‘extremism’ - particularly ‘non-violent extremism’ - in the strategy appear so broad that they could lead to many unforeseen consequences such as the erosion of fundamental freedoms within our multi-faith democracy.
“While we welcome the acknowledgement from the prime minister that defeating extremism in all its forms is not something that can be done alone, there was no formal consultation with faith groups prior to publication. As a faith community representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians, we believe that religious liberty is for all and call on the government to consult and work with faith groups so we can address extremism and ensure that any bill tackling extremism does not undermine the very democracy that it seeks to protect.”
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.