I have read a powerful book this week about how present day Russia is reluctant to open up any serious investigation into the legacy of its Stalinist past to present day scrutiny. (Gulag. A History of the Soviet Camps. Anne Applebaum.) Sadly it appears to be ever more the case that all too many stratas of our own society are today creating their own “legacy” by effectively eliminating free speech – especially where it brings people into direct contact with the gospel.
Simon Taylor who did a good job in alerting us to the plight of floods in the West Country last year has written to us to tell us the shocking news that the beleaguered Christian Free School in Durham has been told by inspectors that it must close. The root of the “problem” appears to lie in nothing more than throwaway remarks made by two pupils, not giving the “right answer” about what a Muslim was or lesbians do.
The leaders of the school include Julian Eisner, the Acting Head, who is an old friend of Simon’s. They are feeling battle weary, and know that nothing but a miracle can save their highly regarded school from being closed down. The following articles in The Spectator provide important insight into what is happening.
Simon writes that Julian is a straightforward Christian who deserves our prayers. Another Christian school in the region has also been placed in special measures. This is the tip of a most unpleasant iceberg. Let’s focus our concerns in prayer around this specific school in Durham – and then move out from there to pray for the power of God to intervene on behalf of all who are under increasing threat from this clamp down on free speech – perhaps all the more ironic in the light of the huge demonstrations recently in favour of it in France! When dealing with big issues it is always good to go from the particular to the general – toe deep, knee deep, waist deep and suddenly we find ourselves swimming in the flow of subjects that mean so much to God Himself. Please bring this matter to the awareness of your churches and prayer groups.