A childcare worker says an employer has a duty to “reasonably accommodate” the religious beliefs of a Christian worker. Celestina Mba, 58 went to a UK Court of Appeals to plead for her right to have Sunday’s off from her job as a care giver for disabled children because her employer would not promise to keep her off the shift schedule on Sundays.
Mba, a Baptist and mother of three said she was criticized for her stance. “We have so many different faiths in this society,” she said. “I am standing up for my beliefs, not for anyone else’s.”
If the Court of Appeals agrees with her, it would set new religious rights in the UK workplace “and could lead to other Christians refusing to work on the Sabbath.” (Sunday)
Courts in Britain have acted to protect the kara bracelet worn by Sikhs, Afro cornrow haircuts, the wearing of the hijab and a Muslim’s right to fast. But Christians have not been granted the protection to wear a cross or be protected from working on Sunday.
Giving workers the right to not work on Sunday would also open the door for other groups as well, like Jews and Seventh-day Adventists who need protection on the Bible Sabbath.
Freedom to worship God according to one’s conscience is a most basic liberty and must be defended; otherwise, intolerance in one area (i.e. refusing to protect Sunday rest) will lead to intolerance in another (refusal to protect Saturday rest).