Although we do not believe all religions lead to God, most Christians would support the freedom of belief and practice for other religions. We can’t enforce Christianity by law but we can enthusiastically proclaim it and pray “thy kingdom come.”
According to a report in the Guardian, the civil service is recruiting seven pagan chaplains to minister to inmates at prisons around the country. These are for prisoners who observe religions such as Wicca, Druidry and Odinism. The pagan chaplains will be required to lead rituals and officiate at rites of passage. All this is rather ironic in the face of a Christian chaplain recently being banned from Brixton Prison, apparently for no good reason.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that minority religions where there is often no deity as such – or indeed the main world faiths – will not bring the righteousness, peace and happiness that people seek. Some of them may contain a measure of truth and virtue, but we cannot find ultimate truth and reality outside of Jesus Christ.
The presence and persistence of religion in all its forms across the world is, in fact, evidence for the sense of eternity God has placed in our hearts. But these longings will only be satisfied in knowing the true and living God, revealed fully and finally in Jesus.
Christian Prison Chaplains such as Daylight Prison Trust and Time for Change Ministries are doing a great job across the country explaining the gospel, showing the love of Christ and supporting Christians in prison.
Not sure whether these particular appointments are a good use of taxpayers’ money, but in principle we are in favour of religious freedom – including the right of every person to teach and practice their chosen religion (within the restrictions of what is lawful), even if we know they are idolatrous.
I would suggest our job as Christians is not to overcome by force of law but by continuing to preach the gospel and pray that many may turn from idols to serve the living God.