A British woman launched an appeal against an employment court that accused her of trying to convert a Muslim colleague.
Victoria Wasteney, 38, said she was suspended from her position as an occupational therapist after her colleague, Enya Nawaz, said Wasteney overstepped professional boundaries by praying for Nawaz and inviting her to church.
"But the way it was all handled left me looking like a religious nutcase and I would like an acknowledgement that there is a negative attitude towards Christianity in some areas of the public sector," Wasteney said.
Wasteney’s lawyers are planning to challenge the employment tribunal, saying her employer restricted her religious freedom with her termination.
The two women met while working at St. John Howard Centre in east London, Wasteney said. While at work, Wasteney, a born-again Christian, said she and Nawaz talked about Christianity and Islam, as well as the work done by Wasteney’s church to advocate against human trafficking.
“We discussed our beliefs but I certainly didn't tell her that my way was the only way. I don't even believe it's possible to force someone to convert,” Wasteney said.
Nawaz made a formal complaint against Wasteney after she offered to pray for Nawaz and reportedly tried to force her to attend church events.
Wasteney, however, said she would pray for Nawaz’s "peace and healing" after she complained about health issues.
She also admitted she invited Nawaz to some church events and gave her a book about a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity.
'I'm not anti-Muslim and I'm always very mindful to be sensitive to other people's beliefs,” Wasteney said.
In June 2013, Wasteney’s employer, the East London NHS Foundation Trust, suspended her on full pay while they investigated her for intervening in Nawaz’s faith. The investigation led to Wasteney receiving a written warning for misconduct.
Sources: Daily Mail
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