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Stars fear Christian 'outing'

Stars fear Christian 'outing'

Author:
Publication: The Times, UK
Date: November 14, 2002

An awards ceremony has had to be abandoned because the winners, all household names, do not want to be "outed" as Christians.

Leading politicians, sportsmen and entertainers have shunned the ceremony for fear of being identified as Christians. A Top Ten pop star and a Premiership footballer were among 12 nominees to the ceremony, which sought to commend public figures who projected Christian values. But eight told organisers they do not want to alienate audiences by revealing they are closet Christians, and the remaining four did not bother to respond.

Premier Radio invited their 500,000 listeners to nominate celebrities and public figures who embodied Christian ideals. The station whittled the nominees down to 12 and wrote inviting them to attend an awards ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in December.

Martin Saunders, Premier Radio presenter, waited weeks but heard nothing. He claimed that, after chasing up the nominees, he discovered the reason for the silence was that they were ashamed of their beliefs.

He said: "We have decided that we are not going to name names. We don't want to be seen to be picking a fight with any of these people."

Peter Kerridge, managing director of Premier Radio, said: "We have had to cancel the ceremony, and it has cost us a lot of money."
 


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