Swansea University recently banned a religious group called Freedom Church, after it was accused of using objectionable ways to recruit students on campus. After receiving several complaints, managers at the university decided to get rid of all the promotional material used by Freedom Church, including 250 posters, and refuse the religious group permission to conduct services on campus.
A spokesperson for the university told the media that the decision had been taken to protect students’ interests.
He said, “Concerns have been raised by various organizations and individuals in Wales and elsewhere about the operational methods used by Freedom Church to recruit members, by targeting vulnerable members of society, and the cultic style of operation. … When it came to light that the Freedom Church was holding religious services on campus, permission for the use of any of its premises was immediately withdrawn. … Only affiliated faith organizations are permitted to hold services on campus.”
Leaders of Freedom Church however denied the allegations, saying the university’s claims do not reflect the ideologies of their organization.
“The accusations that have been made against Freedom Church are not true and in no way reflect our character or approach, and we have requested a meeting with the university to discuss this matter,” they said.
Swansea University’s spokesperson later clarified that the university had not officially banned the religious organization from conducting services or organizing events on campus.
“Permission is not granted to any faith group unless they are a society registered with the student’s union. The Freedom Church is not registered with the student’s union. This is what we meant by the term affiliated.”
Apparently, Freedom Church is affiliated with the United Kingdom’s Evangelical Alliance and it represents as many as two million Christians and 3,500 churches. It describes itself as a church for those who are on a journey of faith.
In its own words, the Freedom Church is “wholeheartedly committed to build a church that reaches people who don’t yet know God.”
The organization has a host of affiliates in towns and cities across Great Britain, including Cardiff, Hereford and Worcester as well as in other parts of the world including Uganda, Kampala, Bruges and Belgium.
Photo Credits: Huffington Post