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Fired British Christians Lose 3 of 4 Cases in Landmark Human Rights Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled today that the United Kingdom did not unjustly discriminate against three of four Christians who were dismissed from their jobs on the basis of their religious conscience.

The ruling will likely define the limits of religious freedom when juxtaposed against equality and safety laws.

Nadia Eweida, Shirley Chaplin, Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane each filed separate lawsuits against the United Kingdom after they faced penalties and even were fired from their jobs as a direct result of their religious commitments. The four high-profile cases all concerned the British employees’ right not to face religious discrimination at work, and all four appealed their cases as one before the ECHR in September, arguing that the government failed to “provide relief” and uphold their religious freedom.

But today the ECHR ruled only in favor of Eweida, a Coptic Christian who was dismissed from her job as a British Airways employee when she attempted to wear a cross at work.

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