Bishop Tony takes up the freedom to worship and pray challenge

Posted on the 31st Oct 2014 in the category News

Bishop Tony Robinson, a Bishop of the Society, has joined the freedom to worship and pray challenge by recording his own message to help all those suffering persecution for their faith and identity and help raise funds for Christian’s Aid’s emergency appeals.


In a short film, taken in Wakefield Cathedral, he spells out why freedom to pray is so important and hopes others will take up the challenge too.


Bishop Tony said: “We often hear politicians, journalists and others supporting the ‘Freedom of Speech’ as a human right enshrined in charters and laws. I believe that we should also defend the right of any human being to have the  ‘Freedom to Pray’. Faith is so important to the vast majority of people on the planet that we must defend this right too. As the Queen said in her Jubilee year 2012 We hold that freedom to worship is at the core of our tolerant and democratic society.”


“As we look around the world today there are many places where people are not allowed this freedom. We must not take the freedom we have lightly. We must  work to change the attitudes of those who persecute people of another faith and stop them from praying,” he added.


The freedom to worship and pray challenge was launched last month by the Revd Heather Atkinson, Vicar of Moldgreen and Rawthorpe, in Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. It asks people of all faiths to join her by using social media to post a picture or film of themselves at their place of prayer.


Those taking part are asked to nominate others to do the same and donate money to Christian Aid’s emergency appeals for Iraq, Gaza and Syria to support all those suffering for their faith and identity across the world today.


Said Heather: “When I was nominated to do the ice bucket challenge, it made me think about what’s going on in the world today.

“I wanted a way to raise awareness of the situation in Iraq and give people of all faiths the opportunity to say something positive about their place of prayer or worship.

“Many people around the world are persecuted for their faith and their views and this is a way to show how lucky we are that we can worship so freely,” she added.


Alex Jones, Christian Aid’s Deputy Head for the Eastside of England said: "Christian Aid partners on the ground in Iraq and Gaza are working in very difficult circumstances to provide desperately needed help for those forced from their homes.  We share Heather’s call for the protection of all people regardless of their belief and identity and encourage others to join Heather in this challenge."


JOIN THE CHALLENGE…You can text HELP5 and HELP10 to 70060 to donate £5 and £10 respectively to Christian Aid – donations will be shared between the Iraq, Syria and Gaza emergency appeals.