News from Europe

The UK includes “anti-abortion” narratives as “terrorist threat”

A recent document of the UK Governments counter-terrorism unit "Prevent" includes "anti-abortion" narratives in a list of potential signs of ideologies leading to terrorism.


The updated version of the Prevent “Duty guidance for England and Wales” (as of March 6, 2024) expands on the definition of terrorist narratives to include “religious superiority.” However, this guidance has faced criticism from human rights groups and a former head of counter-terrorism for its perceived politicization and negative impact on Prevent’s reputation. Concerns have been raised that individuals, particularly Christians involved in pro-life activities or evangelism, could be targeted for investigation due to the vague language in the guidance.

According to The Guardian, an undisclosed section of online Prevent awareness training discusses single-issue ideologies, such as animal rights, anti-abortion, or anti-fascism, which are seen as potentially politically neutral but still susceptible to radicalization.

Furthermore, paragraph 25 of the updated guidance addresses “Single-Issue Terrorism,” highlighting additional ideologies and concerns that may pose a terrorist threat, including antisemitism, misogyny, anti-establishment sentiments, anti-LGBT grievances, and religious or ethnic superiority.

Prevent has previously been accused of exhibiting double standards and politicizing the issue of terrorism prevention. There are fears that Christians engaging in activities related to pro-life advocacy, moral debates, apologetics, or evangelism could face scrutiny under the ambiguous language of the Prevent duty guidance.

In a related incident from 2022, Rev Dr Bernard Randall, an Anglican school chaplain, was reported to a terrorism watchdog by the school he worked at following a sermon addressing new LGBT guidelines.




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