from our partnerFaithwire
written byWill Maule
A medical professional who attempted to offer a Bible to a cancer patient was “rightly sacked” from her job, a court has heard.
British nurse Sarah Kuteh was fired from Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent back in 2016 for talking to several patients about her faith in Jesus and even choosing to hand out Bibles.
According to the original complaint, after a patient stated that they were “open-minded” about religion, Kuteh quickly explained that “the only way he could get to the Lord was through Jesus.”
“[She] told him she would give him her Bible if he did not have one; gripped his hand tightly and said a prayer that was very intense and went ‘on and on’; and asked him to sing Psalm 23 [The Lord is My Shepherd] after which he was so astounded that he had sung the first verse with her,” the ruling added, as reported by the Telegraph.
According to court documents, the nurse also told a bowel cancer patient “that if he prayed to God he would have a better chance of survival.”
As a result of these encounters, Kuteh, a mother-of-three, was fired from her job for “gross misconduct.”
Appeal turned down
After a failed appeal, Kuteh launched another bid to have the ruling overturned, arguing that the employment tribunal “failed to consider the correct interpretation of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code and the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate expressions of religious beliefs.”
She also argued that the tribunal had failed to uphold her rights to religious freedom endowed by the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 9.
This clause states that the “freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
Last week, however, Judges at the Court of Appeal threw out Kuteh’s human rights claim and rejected her appeal once again.
‘The Respondent employer [Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust] did not have a blanket ban on religious speech at the workplace,” read the ruling from Lord Justice Gross, Lord Justice Singh and Lord Justice Haddon-Cave.
“What was considered to be inappropriate was for the Claimant [Ms. Kuteh] to initiate discussions about religion and for her to disobey a lawful instruction given to her by management,” the ruling added.
Lord Singh concluded that the “employment Appeal Tribunal was plainly correct, in my view, to regard the appeal as having no reasonable prospect of success and therefore in dismissing it.”
Many praised Kuteh for her passionate presentation of the gospel in the workplace. “Many Ghanaian Christians have a habit of talking about Jesus all the time, even though in the UK it is seen to be culturally inappropriate,” tweeted the CEO of London City Mission, Graham Miller. “Praise the Lord for Sarah’s compassionate heart and courage!”
Kuteh is being represented by the Christian Legal Centre and is currently considering her legal options moving forward. In a tweet, CLC’s sister organization, “Christian Concern” urged British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to take into account instances of Christian persecution that are going on inside British borders on a terrifyingly regular basis.
In a newly released report commissioned by Hunt, it was determined that global Christian persecution is reaching the UN-defined threshold for “genocide.”
Horrified by the levels of violence and oppression perpetrated against the faith community and exposed in the report, Hunt noted that many governments have been “asleep on the watch” when it comes to tackling anti-Christian sentiment.
Christian Concern believes the foreign secretary should take a look at things a little closer to home.
“It is also vital that Jeremy Hunt recognises the discrimination towards Christians in the UK as well as globally,” the organization pointed out.
Faithwire has reached out to the Christian Legal Centre for information on what Kuteh’s next steps will be in this troubling case.