UK chaplain fired for stance on homosexuality
Barry Trayhorn was employed for five years as a gardener at Littlehey Prison at Cambridgeshire, England, but he also acted as a volunteer chaplain – preaching and teaching the Bible and counseling inmates at the invitation of the prison chaplain. Evidently, the only problem pointed out was that Trayhorn adhered to his faith while ministering to inmates.
“I preach from the Bible,” Trayhorn admitted. “I speak from the Word of God, saying that homosexuality is a sin, from I Corinthians 6, as much as other sins – like adultery and homosexuality – is one of those [sins], and the prison service didn’t like it.”
The prison contains inmates convicted of sex offenses, and Trayhorn wanted to get across the point that people can repent and God will forgive them, and that they can be redeemed.
Prison officials put so much pressure on the chaplain that his health suffered, and he was forced into a position of resigning. Trayhorn subsequently lodged a discrimination complaint, which was rejected. After learning that other Christians face similar situations, he began fighting, but he indicates that he has a purpose beyond his personal circumstances.
“[I hope] that it stirs Christians up to faith – that He will stir us up in our faith, that we will be united in the Word of God and in the Holy Spirit, that we’ll put God first in our lives and we will live that life for Christ,” Trayhorn shared.
Represented by the Christian Legal Center, Trayhorn recently received promising news that the U.K. Employment Tribunal will hear his case.
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