A Christian occupational health therapist has slammed Britain's National Health Service because she says she was treated unfairly simply because she prayed with her sick Muslim co-worker.
Victoria Wasteney, 37, who describes herself as a “born-again Christian,” claims she never talked about her faith while working at the John Howard Centre psychiatric hospital in east London because she knew it was against the rules to do so. Still, she says, when 25-year-old Enya Nawaz became her colleague, the two reportedly discussed their Christian and Muslim religions openly, reports the Daily Mail. She claims Nawaz initiated the discussions.
One day, Nawaz reportedly confided in her colleague that she had health problems. Wasteney says she was obviously in distress, so she asked if she wanted her to pray for her. Nawaz reportedly said yes, and Wasteney says she gave her a copy of a book entitled, "I Dared to Call Him Father," which is about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.
Later, Nawaz reportedly filed a complaint against Wasteney and the health worker was suspended on full pay for nine months while authorities looked into whether she was trying to convert her colleague.
At a disciplinary hearing, it was ruled that Wasteney engaged in misconduct because she gave her co-worker the book, invited her to events at her church and offered to pray for her. She was given a written warning, but allowed to continue working in another area of the NHS trust.
Wasteney says she plans to start an employment tribunal against the NHS for the way she was treated.
“We discussed our beliefs but I certainly didn't tell her that my way was the only way,” Wasteney said. “I don't even believe it’s possible to force someone to convert. 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.”