Religion and law round-up – 22nd March

A very mixed bag: charitable status and the Exclusive Brethren, Magna Carta, kirpans at the Cricket World Cup, socialism as a protected belief and naked ramblings – but not by us…

The Charity Commission and the Exclusive Brethren

On Tuesday The Times reported (£) that the Charity Commission had “struck a deal” with the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (aka the Exclusive Brethren). The Times claims it had seen leaked documents that

“… lay bare the extraordinary lobbying campaign waged by the Brethren to win political support and overturn a decision in June 2012 to refuse charitable status to one of its gospel halls”.

According to the report,

“Charity Commission officials were followed to unrelated events by Brethren members, pressured by supportive ministers and MPs and had their offices deluged with more than 3,000 letters from adherents.”

A spokeswoman for the Charity  Commission was subsequently reported by Third Sector (£) to the effect that the Commission’s decision to change its mind and register the PDT had been objective and based on fact: Continue reading