We recognise the challenges to government of finding a balance between providing security and protecting freedoms.
It is right that we act decisively to address the issues of radicalisation and terrorism that undermine the rule of law and attack our way of life in the UK.
However, we are concerned that the definitions of ‘extremism’ - particularly ‘non-violent extremism’ - in the strategy appear so broad that they could lead to many unforeseen consequences such as the erosion of fundamental freedoms within our multi-faith democracy.
While we welcome the acknowledgment from the prime minister that defeating extremism in all its forms is not something that can be done alone, there was no formal consultation with faith groups prior to publication.
As a faith community representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians, we believe that religious liberty is for all and call on the government to consult and work with faith groups so we can address extremism and ensure that any bill tackling extremism does not undermine the very democracy that it seeks to protect.
Simon McCrossan, Head of public policy at the Evangelical Alliance UK