About C.I.D.A.C.

The Commission of Inquiry into Discrimination Against Christians (CIDAC) was commissioned by Voice for Justice UK.

There is a widespread perception that the ability of Christians in the UK to practice and manifest their faith in public is deteriorating. CIDAC is now tasked with identifying the nature, context and scale of discrimination faced by Christians.

CIDAC will operate for a two-year duration. Initial hearings will begin in October 2023. Evidence from witnesses will be gathered and the Inquiry will publish its preliminary findings in a series of interim reports, ending in a final report.

More information can be read in our Frequently Asked Questions.

CIDAC is made up of a Panel of Commissioners, including representatives from leading organisations and others with expertise in the field of discrimination. Our Commissioners can be viewed here.

Our work is supported by our Patrons. The list of Patrons can be viewed here.


To hear, consider and investigate evidence from witnesses who, on account of their Christian faith, say they have faced discrimination, marginalization, injustice or stigma.

Where appropriate, to make recommendations as to what steps can be taken to remove or lessen such discrimination as may be identified.

At various points, to produce interim reports before publication of a final Report.

Major General (Retired) Tim Cross CBE

Professor Nigel Biggar CBE

Robin Aitken MBE

Guy Hordern MBE JP

Canon Dr Chris Sugden

Charles Colchester

Sarah Finch

Professor Roger Trigg

Patricia Morgan

Melanie Symonds

Gordon Pettie

Dr Gavin Ashenden

For more information about our Patrons, visit our Patrons page.

In 2012, Christians in Parliament, an All-Party Parliamentary Group composed of MPs and Peers, published their report, Clearing the Ground Inquiry: Preliminary report into the freedom of Christians in the UK. It was tasked with the question: “Are Christians marginalised in the UK?” The Inquiry’s key finding was: “Christians in the UK face problems in living out their faith and these problems have been mostly caused and exacerbated by social, cultural and legal changes over the past decade.”

There is a widespread perception that, since the 2012 Inquiry, conditions adversely affecting the ability of Christians to practice and manifest their faith in public have worsened.

The Commission of Inquiry is now tasked with identifying the nature, context and scale of discrimination faced by Christians.


James Bogle

Simon Caldwell

Paul Diamond

Robert Harris

Will Jones

Gabriel Olearnik

Nina Power

Revd Lynda Rose

Dr Tony Rucinski

Ian Shelley

Peter D Williams

For more information about our Commissioners, visit our Comissioners page.

Taking of Evidence

The Inquiry may receive evidence orally and/or in writing.

Everyone who would like to give evidence will first be invited to give a brief written summary of what they would like to say.

The Commissioners will decide whether the brief, written summary is all they need, or whether they would like the witness to expand on it.

The Commissioners may ask for a formal written statement and/or may ask the witness to give evidence in person at a hearing. The Commissioners may also ask for supporting documents.

The hearing may be public or private. The Commissioners will decide this by reference to all the surrounding circumstances, taking into account the expressed wishes of the witness and the need for protection of any individuals concerned.


Yes. A limited number of individuals from the general public are invited to attend hearings of the Inquiry.

Voice for Justice UK subscribers receive a regular blog about the work of VfJUK, including regular notifications about forthcoming CIDAC hearings. Register here for free.

Attendance slots for the general public will be available on a “first come, first served” basis. To request an invitation to attend a hearing, e-mail the Commission Secretariat:  office@cidac.org.uk.

Commissioners have discretion to exclude those who are, in the opinion of the Commissioners, disruptive or whose presence is not conducive to the proper functioning of the Inquiry.

Where a hearing takes place in public, this will typically be videoed and shown online. In appropriate circumstances, however, the Commissioners may decide that certain aspects of the testimony, and/or the identity of the witness should be protected from public exposure.

Similar considerations apply if evidence is given in audio only form.

The Inquiry will hear witness testimony by a number of means: live video, live audio only, in-camera (private) or by pre-written statements. The Consent Form provides more information about choosing between the various options. We advise that you also read the accompanying Guide to filling out this form.

Witnesses who give live video or live audio testimony will be interviewed before a Panel of Commissioners. There will also be a limited number of observers who will form the public gallery.

Where witnesses request that their identity be kept private, and the Inquiry agrees, the hearing will take place before the Inquiry Panel privately (in-camera). Witnesses who provide a pre-submitted witness statement must read the Inquiry’s Guidelines and Information.


You are invited to contact the Commission Secretariat who may be e-mailed at office@cidac.org.uk to discuss your case further.

Yes, we are inter-denominational. The Inquiry will accept evidence from witnesses subscribing to the traditional tenets of Christian belief as set down in the Bible.

The Commissioners have discretion to hear supporting evidence from people of other religions or none, who wish to testify about discrimination against or unjust treatment of Christians.

Yes. The Commissioners will need to hear all details of your story in order to decide what weight to give to your evidence. However, you can ask the Commissioners not to broadcast or publish names and/or sensitive information. For details about how we use your data, read our Consent Form.

Yes. In some instances, after you have been called to give your testimony, the Inquiry may ask you to give further testimony in order for more information to be gathered.

No. Please note the Inquiry does not offer legal advice about your case or what the law might be in relation to your circumstances or those of others. If you have legal questions about your case, you should seek advice from a solicitor. We may, upon request, provide the name of a solicitor.

Yes, in principle but you should consult your lawyer first about whether you can give evidence without damaging your legal case. It may be that your testimony can be heard by the Inquiry, but your lawyer will advise you on the right timing. If your lawyer agrees that you can present your submission to the Inquiry, he or she may advise you to leave our certain names or other sensitive information from your evidence.

If you have read through all the above questions, and are ready to proceed, you will be asked to provide basic details about yourself, and a brief, written summary of your case, and to consent to the use of your data. You will need do download the Consent Form  and the accompanying Guide.

Practice of the Christian religion in the UK and abroad

Although freedom of religious belief and practice is protected by UK law, there are growing concerns as to how this works in practice.

What is the basic law on religious freedom in the UK?

First, Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights recognises Freedom of  thought, conscience and religion. This article is enshrined in the Human Rights Act 1998. Article 9 states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

Second, “religion” is a protected characteristic under equality law. See the Equality Act 2010.The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion but does not protect the expression and/or manifestation of religion.

Internationally, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  contains provisions that essentially mirror what is within the European Convention and the Human Rights Act. The Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

A number of bodies are addressing issues relating to the persecution of Christians overseas. Discrimination can be an early warning sign of outright persecution. Hence, it is right for the Inquiry to consider whether there is currently discrimination of any kind against Christians in the UK.

The Inquiry will operate for two years. The Inquiry will publish Interim Reports, with details of preliminary findings. There will be a final Report when the Inquiry concludes its work.

The Inquiry’s aim is to help strengthen mechanisms that work towards a fair and just society and a judicial system that works for everyone. Human rights, equality and fundamental freedoms are never to be taken for granted. To this end, the Inquiry, having heard the evidence, commits to undertake a thorough investigation of the issues raised. The Inquiry will publish its evidence and, where relevant, make appropriate recommendations. See our Terms of Reference for details of our remit.

Please note, if you would like to discuss in confidence any matters relating to confidentiality or the giving of your evidence, you may e-mail the Commission Secretariat: office@cidac.org.uk.