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Urgent Appeal: Stand Up for Free Speech in Belfast

Message from Precious Life in the North of Ireland


"I write to you with a sense of urgency and a plea for your immediate action. Free Speech is under threat and we need your help to safeguard it.

Belfast City Council is proposing new bye-laws that will effectively silence pro-life groups and Christians who preach the Gospel, sing, or pray on our public streets. This is not just an attack on us, but an attack on the fundamental right to free speech and religious liberty.

We are calling on individuals across Northern Ireland - and around the world who have visited or may plan to visit Belfast - to voice their opposition to these oppressive laws by responding to a Public Consultation on the proposals.

The proposed laws include:

  • Imposing a fee on any person or group wishing to set up a stall with free information leaflets or speak in a public place with amplification equipment.
  • Issuing permits only to those whose activity is "approved" by the Council.
  • Enforcing compliance with the Council's "conditions" for permit holders, with the threat of refusal or revocation.
  • Levying fines of £500 (approx. $630) on anyone setting up an Information Stall or using amplification equipment without a permit.

Precious Life is the only pro-life group in Northern Ireland that sets up a weekly Information Stall in Belfast City Centre, For 27 years we have been changing hearts and minds on the abortion issue through our educational STREET OUTREACH. We take the pro-life message directly to the people, speaking to them one-to-one on the streets, distributing our pro-life information leaflets, and collecting signatures for our numerous pro-life petitions.

However, Belfast Council has labelled our efforts as an "unacceptable nuisance" and is now planning to ban our pro-life stall and any Christian outreach from the city centre. These oppressive bye-laws are backed by anti-Christian and pro-abortion parties in the Council - the Alliance Party, Green Party, People Before Profit, SDLP, and Sinn Féin.

If these laws are passed by Belfast City Council, it will set a dangerous precedent, encouraging other pro-abortion councils to ban our Street Outreach from other towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

We will be distributing thousands of our PROTECT FREE SPEECH leaflets across Northern Ireland. We have also produced guidance explaining how to respond to the Consultation

The Public Consultation period runs until 4th March 2024. Visit our campaign page and share it across your social media platforms and through any other communication channels at your disposal.

It is of utmost importance that we collectively send an unequivocal message to Belfast City Council. We must assert that the rights to religious liberty and free speech are non-negotiable and must be respected. Your support in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Your voice matters. Please stand with us."

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