London, Dec 30: A High Court judge in Britain has ruled that Christians have no right to refuse working on Sunday, as it is not a “core component” of their beliefs.
The judgment, which upholds an earlier decision, meant that individual Christians do not have any protection from being fired for not working on Sundays.
Campaigners said the decision will put Christians at a disadvantage to other religions and meant the judiciary are deciding what the core beliefs of Christians can be, which they said is an interference in the right to practice religion, the Telegraph reports.
The judgment was issued by Justice Langstaff as he ruled on an appeal brought by a Christian woman who was sacked after she refused to work on Sundays at a care home.
According to the report, Celestina Mba claimed the council she worked for pressured her to work on Sundays and threatened her with disciplinary measures, even though other workers were willing to take the shifts.
The 57 year-old worships at her Baptist church every Sunday, where she is also part of the ministry team offering pastoral care and support to the congregation, the report said.
Justice Langstaff, who as president of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is the most senior judge in England and Wales in this type of case, upheld the lower tribunal’s ruling which said it was relevant that other Christians did not ask for Sundays off, the report added.
Campaigners said the ruling showed that Christians are being treated less favourably than people from other religions, such as Muslims, Jews and Sikhs.
They pointed to cases where the courts offered protection to other religions even when only a minority of adherents was affected.
The judgment in Miss Mba’s case will fuel concerns that judges are promoting secularism, the report added. (ANI)