Victory for Scottish Church Leaders

Posted on 5th May, 2021


Victory for Scottish church leaders as judge rules government acted unconstitutionally when criminalising gathered worship


"In an historic judgment, today a judge has ruled that the Scottish Ministers’ decision to ban and criminalise gathered church worship during the current lockdown was unconstitutional and a disproportionate interference of Article 9 ECHR rights.


The ruling is believed to be the first successful legal case against covid regulations in the UK.


Handing down judgment, Lord Braid also ruled that online worship is not real Christian worship, stating that it is not for the Scottish Ministers to: “dictate to the petitioners or to the additional party, that, henceforth, or even for the duration of the pandemic, worship is to be conducted on-line. That might be an alternative to worship but it is not worship. At very best for the respondents, in modern parlance, it is worship-lite ...”




In her concluding remarks, Scott said: “Without wanting to resort to hyperbole, what is worryingly insidious about the way this has been presented to us politically is, ‘oh no, we haven’t closed your churches’ – and that’s in the face of a regulation that says places of public worship will be closed.


“That’s what the First Minister said and that’s what’s been said in the course of argument for the Scottish Ministers.


“When one starts using double-speak like that one gets to exactly the issue which Article 9 is designed to forfend.


“I’m saying this from the perspective of a group of ministers and church elders who want to defend their right to worship, but it is there as an underlying point which is protected for good reason by the European Convention on Human Rights.” (Christian Concern)



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