The Words of the Read Family
Special Prayer Points UK Court Case
March 25, 2004
Adjudicator: Michael Clements
Our lawyers: David Pannick QC, Kate Gallafent, Mark Brann
Home Office Lawyers: Monica Carss-Frisk QC, Tom de la Mare, John Guess
To pray for the Home Secretary David Blunkett ideally to drop the case before the Appeal or at least to drop it after we win the Appeal. Points to note:
The UK case is in the balance. We have just given our evidence to the Home Office lawyers. As our case is strong there is a good chance that the Home Secretary will drop the case. It is a good time to make strong prayer to influence the case. Thank you for all the conditions you have made already. In the centre of the effort to prepare the legal case and to outreach to VIPs we have seen miracles occur and contacts we know well respond much more warmly than in the past.
Tim Read National Leader for UK
The Exclusion Of Reverend Moon From Britain -The Implications For The Religious Freedom Of All Immediate Background
In May 2003 the Home Secretary David Blunkett issued an exclusion order preventing Rev Moon from coming to Britain to minister to his church. His appeal against that decision (to be heard on March 30 & 31) arises at a time of great concern over ill considered government tinkering with key aspects of the constitution. But, while debate has focussed on such matters as Lords reform, plans for a supreme court, or the ousting of judicial review over asylum claims, few have realised that in Rev Moon’s case a dangerous break with constitutional precedent in its own way just as far reaching and just as potentially dangerous is afoot. If the Home Office is successful, it will result in greatly increased government control over religious practices and greatly curtailed religious freedom for all faiths. In essence, the Home Office is for the first time asserting openly the right to use the crown prerogative to decide who may enter Britain, to control religious practices and to curb the development of any religion of which it disapproves according to criteria that it decides entirely by itself. If successful in defending Rev Moon’s appeal the Home Office will in effect be able to act in immigration matters as a de facto ‘Ministry of Religion’.
Longer Term History
Since 1978 the Home Office has now sought to exclude Rev. Moon from Britain 4 times. The three previous attempts (1978, 1989 and 1995) all ended by being judicially overturned as unlawful. Each time a different ground was put forward for exclusion from the previous one and in 3 of the 4 cases the ground even changed in mid case. In the current case the initial ground ( concern for public order") has now been withdrawn and replaced at the last minute with "concern about violation of individual rights". Thus the case against Rev. Moon has been like constantly shifting sands and the Home Office consistent only in its inconsistency. DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OUTCRY The intervention of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in issuing a ‘demarche’ urging the government to think again, numerous letters from international statesmen and expressions of concern by international Human Rights groups have highlighted international concern, whilst at home hundreds, including leading academics, key religious leaders, M.P.s, the families of unificationists, as well as unificationists themselves, have protested to the Home Office at the exclusion.
The Key Issues And Threats
Immigration powers to be used explicitly to prevent development or revitalisation of religions that are disapproved of, including those registered as ‘Charities for the advancement of religion’. Home Office to act as de facto ‘Ministry of Religion’ asserting power to decide between good and bad religious practices. Reliance on voluntary work and low pay (fundamental to most religions) to be penalised by refusal of entry to foreign religious leadership of groups. Home office free to decide its criteria for exclusion independently of scrutiny by Parliament and the courts and regardless of qualifications or expertise of its staff. Religions where adherents have put religious commitment before commitment to family to be penalised. Foreign missionary bodies particularly vulnerable. Generally minority religions such as Moslem, Hindu and Buddhist groups will be most vulnerable because their leadership most often comes from overseas but even the Anglican church could fall foul of these powers where there is complaint against its foreign based leadership and they want to enter Britain.
Contact Robin Marsh at FFWPU, 43, Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA.
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