Guest post by Gev
The Father’s House, a church of about 40 people that was based in the Welsh village of Gwernymynydd, near Mold, was thrown out of its rented premises because of its support of Israel. The Jewish Chronicle reported that “In May, the group received an eviction letter from the village centre from which it has run church services for 11 years.” The Council-owned centre gave them six months to leave explaining that: “There has also been great concern expressed about the content of your website, and the very controversial views it contains. The Village Centre Committee does not wish to be associated with your views.” The website contains news and editorials about anti-Israel activity. The Father’s House no longer meets in the centre and cannot rent any other council venue in the County of Flintshire for fear of similar action and now rent an industrial unit in the Deeside Area of North Wales.
Mike Fryer, pastor of the Father’s House is a former National Crime Squad detective and stated that the ban was discriminatory under the Equality Act. He also runs the Christians for Zion blog site. In a new twist the Gwernymynydd Village Centre Committee chaired by Councillor Keith Taylor claim that the group was evicted because it “was monopolising the amenity at weekends”. However this claim seems rather shallow in the light of the letter sent to the church.
Fryer comments on his blog about the wider implications for British Christians that, “this is the first such case of a Christian group/church being evicted for their belief”.