Today, think tank Parliament Street is launching a campaign calling for greater protection for Christian Leaders from violent assaults, abuse and harassment. Across Britain, official Police figures show that nearly 200 Vicars and Priests have been victims of violent attacks, including grievous bodily harm over the last few years alone.
All too often Police are logging these vicious crimes as standard common assaults, including ABH and GBH without properly taking into account the fact that the victim was wearing a dog collar or the context of the attack being within a church.
It is time for the government to take steps to ensure these assaults are classified as religious hate crimes, instead of standard assaults. This will ensure greater protection for religious leaders as the penalties for religious hate crimes are far more severe and this will send a clear message that the government is doing everything it can to protect Christian leaders and those of other faiths in Britain.