Nadia Eweida works for British Airways – and she is a Christian. She typically wears cross at the end of necklace, an innocent but personally significant piece of jewelry. An anti-Christian, British Airways supervision at Heathrow Airport in London demanded that she conceal the cross or remove it. Nadia, who works the check-in counter there, refused. She was immediately suspended and placed on unpaid leave.
British Airways allows employees of other religions, such as Islam and Hinduism, to wear faith-related items, including clothing, jewelry, and religious markings. When the case became public knowledge in 2006, the airlines received criticism from both the Church of England and the Vatican. Christians leaders served by the airlines also complained. The Church of England owns £6.6 million worth of airline stock.
But, in the end, British Airways was committed to its anti-Christian policy. Nadia lost her law suit, but won an appeal. Last Tuesday, the court ruled that the airline can continue to prohibit Eweida from visibly wearing her cross. And in shocking ruling, it also concluded that other types of religious symbols, such as turbans, bangles, and other religious markings are acceptable. Since a cross can be hidden, it must, the court ruled.
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) may attempt to appeal the ruling yet again. “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination,” said ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull. British Airways cannot say it’s okay for employees to wear symbols of their faith unless it’s a Christian cross. The airline took no action against employees of other religions who wore jewelry or symbols of their religion. It is a part of the growing intolerance toward Christians in the cradle of Christianity, England and America.
“No Christian should be forced to hide her faith … particularly when a double-standard exists targeting only Christians for discriminatory treatment.”
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