Afraid to be a Christian? Who can blame you? The authorities, the media and the chattering classes are forever trying to run you down. We don't have to brave the Colosseum, with its rapacious lions; we don't have to wear an identifying badge; or meet in secret – yet.

But there is no doubt that many are afraid to be Christian. They will watch anxiously today as Shirley Chaplin will fight the NHS in an employment tribunal. Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust has tried to ban Mrs Chaplin's wearing a cross, claiming it was dangerous. (Who staffs this Trust? Vampires?) Mrs C refused to take off the cross and is now battling for her right to wear a symbol of her faith. Some of the highest ranking Christians in the land have come out in her favour – and widened the debate to the persecution of all Christians in this country.

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