Magna Carta Rally Report 2015

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Rally Report : Magna Carta – how free are YOU today?

On 15th June 1215, King John met with the rebel barons at Runnymede to agree what was, in effect, a peace treaty: Magna Carta. This momentous Charter is rightly seen as one of the most important and influential documents in history, becoming over time the foundation for what we know today worldwide as Human Rights, as well as the basis for Western democracy.

To commemorate the 800th anniversary of this historic event, while drawing attention to the increasing restrictions currently being placed on our ancient freedoms, VfJUK held its Rally: Magna Carta – how free are YOU today?

Gathering on Old Palace Yard, opposite Parliament, speakers included:

  • Revd Wale Babatunde, Church historian, author, and founder of the World Harvest Christian Centre;
  • Sid Cordle, leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance;
  • Baroness Caroline Cox, well know for her international humanitarian work defending the persecuted and oppressed, and currently working to help abused Muslim women in the UK, who find themselves deprived of all rights under Sharia law;
  • Alan Craig, well known Christian and political activist,;
  • Robert Harris, Christian campaigner and activist, and member of VfJUK,;
  • Dr Clifford Hill, sociologist and theologian,;
  • Edmund Matyjaszek, poet and playwright, and currently proprietor of a Christian School on the Isle of Wight;
  • Dr Linda Stalley, co-leader of the Maranatha Community;
  • Paul Tully, General Secretary for the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child.
  • Revd Lynda Rose, CEO of VfJUK

Highlighting the ideological battle currently being waged in society between secularism and Christianity, speakers picked up on the UK’s proud heritage of defending freedom of belief, conscience and speech. However, picking up on religious persecutions of the 17th century, Edmund Matyjaszek pointed out that that record has not been without challenge. Nevertheless, the hard fought defence of liberty triumphed, and speakers paid tribute to the enormous debt owed by society and the world to our Christian heritage, which has grounded those freedoms. Wale Babatunde especially emphasized the debt owed by his home country, Nigeria, calling for the reChristianisation of British society.

All were unanimous in agreeing that Christianity and our ancient freedoms are today under threat from aggressive redefinition of ‘British values’ – and all called for the preservation of those freedoms on which our nation is founded. At the end, stating that the heart and soul of our nation is at stake, Lynda called for Christians nationwide to make a stand, challenging the undemocratic imposition of values inimical to our faith, as laid down in the Bible.

CALL TO STAND

Lynda called for people to form ‘cells’ locally, to campaign against issues endangering the wellbeing of children, families, individuals, and society at large. She said Christians now needed to become the leaven in society – that small ingredient that changes for good the whole of the ‘lump’ or mass.

But, she said, any campaigns needed to be evidential rather than emotional, pointing out that simply saying something is ‘against the teaching of the Bible’ is insufficient in today’s secular society. Instead, she urged people to use the wealth of reports and research available that show all too clearly the dangers inherent in secular humanism’s reconstituted morality. Unsurprisingly, some of these reports are not widely known or publicized, but she said that VfJUK, and other groups represented at the Rally, researched and collated relevant material, and she offered to make information freely available, on request, while also supporting and giving advice on how to mount effective campaigns. She also that that VfJUK would be happy to co-ordinate groups working on similar campaigns.

The message: It’s no longer enough for just a few groups to campaign on isolated issues. All Christians need to mobilise and make their voice heard. We need to rediscover and stand on our faith!


Magna Carta Unravelled: launch of the book from our March conference celebrating Magna Carta

On the evening of 15th June – to coincide with the anniversary of the sealing of the Charter 800 hundred years ago – in the House of Lords and hosted by baroness Cox, VfJUK launched our new book.

Published in conjunction with Wilberforce Publications, it contains expanded versions of the talks given at conference, with two vital additions. First, a chapter on the history and background to Magna Carta from lawyer and historian Philip Quenby, and, second, a chapter on the application of Sharia law in the UK by Baroness Cox.

Magna Carta is not only one of the most celebrated documents in British history, but stands as a foundation of political and religious freedom throughout the world. Yet today our ancient liberties are under severe attack, as controversial issues of religious freedoms, human rights, equality legislation and freedom of speech become increasingly subject to challenge.

Magna Carta Unravelled analyses in depth the development of what we know as human rights today, together with the growing restrictions on those rights from the ideological challenge posed by secularism. In today’s climate of moral redefinition, it suggests a way forward.

A must read for anyone concerned with the issue of human rights!


Praise for the book!

“As one essayist puts it, ‘We need to be much more honest about where we have come from and where we are going.’ These essays are frank, lucid and stimulating sources for reflection; and are helpful encouragements to further inquiries and to work for sensible remedies before it is too late.”
John Finnis, Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy Emeritus, University of Oxford

“This book emphasises the relationship between the dignity of our democratic traditions and the religious liberty of our citizens. It is a timely reminder of the proper limits of the power of the state and deserves to be studied widely.”
The Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester

“Magna Carta continues to compel Christian people to fearlessly explore what makes for human flourishing in a liberal democracy. Any wake-up call — such as this book — is rarely comfortable, occasionally inconvenient, always unsettling; but the issues discussed, of conscience, belief and freedom, refuse to be silenced.”
HH Judge David Turner QC

“This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the basis and origins of human rights and a penetrating examination of the contemporary battle between secularism, Islam and Christianity. It is essential reading for all concerned at the loss of traditional freedoms and the future implications.”
Rev Dr Clifford Hill, Issachar Ministries

“At a time when secular humanism is so energetically seeking to undermine the Judaeo-Christian values of our culture, this book presents a brilliant and robust statement of the continuing significance of Magna Carta.”
Dennis Wrigley, Founder of The Maranatha Community

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