New rules not fair to churches
State interference in church affairs is not a new problem. The rulers of their day wanted to dictate the worship to be used in churches.
Churches are now to be subject to the newly-appointed Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, in respect of retaining their charitable status.
This causes us concern on a number of points.
One of these is that public opinion will have a role in deciding whether an organisation deserves charity status.
Public opinion is a shifting thing. The status of churches should not be called into question because their foundational doctrines have fallen out of favour with a numerical majority.
We have asked the Charity Commission to remove this 'popularity test' from its revised and final guidance.
PROFESSOR W D J McKAY
Committee on Public Morals, Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland