On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Will church bells become illegal?

Christians in the United Kingdom have freedom of religion and free speech. However, they are finding themselves under attack. A Christian legal organization in the United Kingdom reported a skirmish victory in the war against Christians and their churches – the demand that they essentially be silent in their worship.

The Christian Legal Centre in the United Kingdom reported a few months ago a “last-minute out of court settlement” that would allow a 600-member church in London to continue its worship. The Lambeth Council previously had issued a noise abatement notice to the All Nations Centre in Kensington which prevented the church from ringing church bells or using any amplification for its worship music and its pastor’s preaching.


The noise abatement order was issued without warning or discussion. The church had been in the same location for more than 45 years.

British attorney Onn Sein Kon said he has noticed an increasing number of attacks on churches because someone can hear the worship.

“What is really going on here is action by secularists to try and restrict Christian freedom and expression in this country. We will do all we can at the Christian Legal Centre to oppose such discrimination.

“Regrettably, our case load is increasing with councils issuing noise abatement notices as a means of curtailing or closing churches in London,” Kon said. “Success in this case sends out a clear message that this method will not work. These churches are vibrant and growing and play a critical part in their communities.”


Immanuel House of Worship in London, also has been silenced because the sound of its worship drew a complaint from a single Muslim neighbor. The church was targeted by a noise abatement order even though local government officials had tested – and approved – its sound plan.

Phoenix pastor convicted and sentenced

In the U.S., a battle over a church’s “noise” also developed in Phoenix, Arizona, where three worship centers now have brought legal action against the city after the Rev. Rick Painter of Christ the King Church was convicted and sentenced to three years probation and a 10-day suspended jail sentence for ringing his church’s electronic chimes.

A lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Painter and his congregation – and was joined by St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Parish and the First Christian Church . Their complaint notes that city officials wrote into the noise ordinance an exemption allowing ice cream trucks to play loud music but refused to include a similar exemption for church bells.


Nevertheless, Painter was convicted on the strength of one Muslim neighbor’s complaint.

“Churches shouldn’t be punished for ringing their church bells,” said attorney Erik Stanley. “The law is being abused to silence a form of worship that has peacefully sounded throughout the streets of our nation since its founding. No one should be sentenced to jail and probation for doing what churches have traditionally done throughout history, especially when the sound of the church’s bells does not exceed the noise level that the law allows for ice cream trucks.”

The Alliance Defense Fund earlier had battled in San Francisco over orders there that a team of Christians who were doing street theater and concerts turn down their volume. Christian evangelists who were preaching on street corners and in city parks were cited for their noise even though in one incident, authorities refused to cite another group that was using an 80-watt amplifier only 15 feet away from the Christians.


Want to read more? CLICK HERE to read whether faith in Jesus is just too shocking for the news media to handle.
CLICK HERE to consider more about why the media is offended by people of faith
To read “Why do they want to censor Jesus?” CLICK HERE
to consider whether we are headed for a God-free society
Is Jesus an illegal word that cannot be uttered in public anymore? CLICK HERE
And CLICK HERE to consider a British journalist’s concern that Christianity is becoming criminalized in Western society.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Objective Bystander

    Attorney Erik Stanley’s comments about church bells are irrelevant. Christ the King Church plays recordings, not actual bells.

    America’s constitution protects the freedom to practice religion but that should not be mistaken as the right to force religion upon others. Citing it as tradition does not make it legal or more acceptable. Religion is not an excuse to do as you please and say to heck with laws, community standards and your neigbors’ wishes.

    Blaming secular society, other religions and wagging fingers at other noise sources is shallow, but may not be completely irrelevant. The Church has enjoyed the freedom it had in the past because it was in fact the majority. It no longer enjoys that advantage, and is seeing its perceived freedoms wane as they become outnumbered by Atheists, Jews, Muslims, etc. Welcome to democracy.

    This is not a situation where some idiots made homes next to an existing airport runway and started yelling about those darn airplanes disrupting their peace and quiet. The church is the newcomer here, and it must cooperate with the community. The only reason to fight would be pride. Isn’t that a deadly sin?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mike

    I live in AZ. and find this appalling about the pastor being sued.

    I think; that the church was located there, before the (mooos-lim) came to town. So , he surely knew about the church being near his proposed new residence.

    I am offended everyday, not just on days of worship: (Sunday ) ; when I turn on the news, or read a newspaper; and see a (Mooos-lim) on the front page, …… some refer to him , as a president.

    We have wa- aaa -aaa – y , too many sheeple , in this country .

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sharon

    By your definition, McDonalds could be sued for forcing people to eat in their restaurants because they smell the hamburgers cooking, or buying a car because they see one as they drive or walk by the dealer or going into a brothel because they saw the women advertising outside. Incidental exposure to any religions expression does not equal being forced to practice that religion. Yes, theose thing can be seen as religions…. what you give devotion too. I wonder if you would be so outspoken if the case was against a mosque and hearing their calls to prayer offended one non Muslim (Athiest, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist etc)?

    Which church is the “newcomer” several churches were mentioned with differing specific concerns… they all seemed (in this article anyway) to be following the law. Going to court, having the town (or whatever) council approve the “noise plan” and then be sued by one person who was offended… WE do not have the right to not be offened by other peoples actions… If that were the case people (who are able) who don’t stand for the National Anthem would be fined or jailed because that offends me and that is just one thing…. how about people who think women should be uneducated “brood mares”? They have the right to their opinions even when I find it offensive… All I can say is GROW UP!!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Gary Mac

    A day will come when you will be persecuted for a stance in Christ, there is nothing you can do about it because people who call themselves Christian have moved away from the Christ and formed religion out from Him based on their laws for tradition which is offensive to the world and to God and He is tired of it. If people really were in Christ, Christ in you as He was in Jesus then Christianity would not have the bad name it has produced. SO get ready because the day is coming soon when you will not be able to use the name of Christ. Our churches today are not interested in love, they are interested in self generated agendas where politicians base their status for the populous instead of doing God s will which is to be as the one sent to teach us to be like. But then it was the same in the day of Jesus so really not much has changed. But it will get a lot worse before it gets better.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Charles

    What about the muslisms bells or calls to prayer?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nighthawk

    This is a large part of the liberal/progressive/democrat goal, get rid of all public mention of God in our society. The democrat party wants to fundimantally change America into nazi era germany. This radical party is communist to the core.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lee

    Another ridiculous “article”. So’s brand of Christianity learns its journalism from the Bible? In DuPage County,
    Illinois (Republican/fundamentalist), the County Board backed off its original decisions putting a halt to mosque-building. Some critics of (ahem) “mooos-lim” worship contended that their prayer calls disturbed the neighborhood’s quiet. WRONG ANSWER!

    Each mosque had more than complied with all legal building requirements, had compromised on certain legally permitted practices, AND Christians in the community–now accustomed to seeing Muslims at the grocery and Little League games–appeared at hearings and wrote Comments (in the on-line Daily Herald) expressed their Christian support for these new houses of worship. RESULT: The proposed mosques will be built. The guidelines for new ones are fair and clear. Sad to say that it took a lawsuit against the Board to accomplish this. Another waste of tax dollars. Another abuse of our courts. HATE CARRIES A HIGH PRICETAG. IT SHOULD!

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