The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a Christian woman suffered discrimination at work over a ban on wearing the Christian cross.
Nadia Eweida, a Coptic Christian originally from Egypt, now living in London, took her case to the European Court of Human Rights following a ruling by a British court that she did not have the right to flout her employers dress code. The European court ruled the U.K. had failed to protect Nadia Eweida's freedom to manifest her faith in the workplace.
The Telegraph reported Eweida was sent home in 2006 by her employer, British Airways, for refusing to conceal a necklace displaying a cross, from view.
Digital Journal reported the British government was prepared to defend its position upholding the right of employers to enforce a ban by arguing that as "it is not a 'requirement' of the Christian faith" in Strasbourg.
Whilst the case has been pending British Airways went on to change its policy, allowing all symbols of religion to be worn in the workplace.
However, the court ruled against another Christian who claimed her employer had discriminated against her by refusing to allow her to wear a cross in the workplace. The BBC reported the court ruled nurse Shirley Chaplin, 57, had no right to display her cross under health and safety regulations which outweighed her religious convictions.
The British government defended their original ruling in Strasbourg based on the argument that "the Christian religion does not require its followers to wear a cross, and only symbols that are a requirement of a religion should be allowable." Despite the government defending this stance and being overruled by the European Court of Human Rights in the Eweida case, Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "delighted" that the "principle of wearing religious symbols at work has been upheld."