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Press Release

LIVINGHOPE

Concerns regarding recent Christianophobic attacks

We are grieved that we have been forced to make a public statement regarding an on-going campaign by certain activist groups and parts of the Isle of Man media to undermine Christianity and freedom of religion on the island. This includes use of false allegations, abusive comments and unbalanced reporting.

Leading up to the recent international Christian conference which we hosted we became aware of Christianophobic comments on local activist social media describing visiting delegates as “invasive” and comparing them to the “Spanish Inquisition… and the Crusades”. Since then this has escalated to include lies and abuse about things said at the conference.

In light of this we need to publicly directly refute inaccurate reporting. Specifically we do believe that God can heal and have some powerful attested stories of such healing. We always, however, encourage working with medical professionals. Like any church there are members of the church being treated for cancer and those working faithfully as part of the medical profession. There was no instance at the conference when anyone suffering with cancer was told not to take medication. Likewise the man referenced in his 40s in some stories does not have prostate cancer.

We expect everyone associated with our churches to use social media truthfully and with respect. However we are deeply concerned that some social media groups, activists and parts of the media are reporting untrue allegations, making misleading statements and allowing comments to be posted which are Christianophobic, and possibly libelous. We therefore ask that all other groups and forums that oppose Christianity act similarly and remove these posts and comments immediately. 

It was wonderful that over 650 delegates including nearly 200  Christians from all over the world joined with us and enjoyed so much of our amazing island. Visitors from nations like Australia, South Africa, Poland, Switzerland, Ireland and the UK are returning home with new friendships and positive experiences – something that is bringing more friends to our island each year.

However, it seems clear that there is a campaign to prevent Christians from gathering in any large number to express their faith, and to make the Isle of Man a hostile place for local Christians and visiting followers of Jesus Christ from other countries. The Four12 Conference at the Villa Marina was a celebration of Christianity among believers. The church contributes significantly to the economy and diversity of the Isle of Man.

We hold strongly to the view that this is a place where we can be proud of the freedom to flourish and this must surely apply equally to believers in Jesus and those holding to Christian values. This must include equal access to public facilities, fair reporting and protection from discrimination.

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