Public bodies should ask questions on the basis of gender identity rather than sex when collecting official data, a top adviser to the Scottish Government has said. In his draft guidance Roger Halliday, the Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician, suggested that questions on biological sex “should not be asked” except in specific medical situations, claiming it is “likely to breach an individual’s human privacy”. A Scottish Government summary of the document stated that in most cases “data should be collected on the basis of gender identity rather than sex”. Dr Kath Murray, of the policy analysis group MurrayBlackburnMackenzie Collective, said the draft proposals would ‘cement’ the loss of the country’s capacity to gather meaningful data if approved. She said: “Biological sex is well-understood to exert a strong influence over experiences and outcomes from birth onwards. It is one of the most important variables for policymaking, planning and research”. Writing for The Scotsman, Susan Dalgety said that the Scottish Government’s “apparent determination to erase sex and replace it with gender identity could have serious consequences” for women. The columnist added: “If sex no longer matters when collecting data for public services, then the distinct needs of women and girls – rooted in our biology – can be ignored”.

 
 
 

Christian festival Spring Harvest has axed its 2021 in-person events, saying it is "no longer viable or responsible" to host the gatherings at their flagship Butlins locations. Essential Christian, the company that runs the Spring Harvest events, said that they did not come to the decision lightly. “We remain confident in Butlin’s ability to deliver safe and secure holidays,” said CEO Phil Loose. “This decision hasn’t been made lightly and is due to the unique and complex nature of the live event with its massive volunteer team, huge children’s programme and large additional infrastructure.” The company said it continues to plan for events in 2022, but in the meantime, Spring Harvest Home 2021, the online event which has already been months in the planning, is set to be “bolder and better than ever before”. Loose added: “We want to thank you for your prayers and your patience during recent weeks in particular. We now look forward to welcoming you to Spring Harvest starting Easter Sunday evening as we worship, learn, laugh and take time to reflect together on a challenging year; celebrating the Unrivalled God.” According to the director of the Spring Harvest event, Abby Guinness, Butlins will be issuing refunds to anyone who has already paid a deposit for the full event.

 
 
 

A Nigerian Christian woman has shared how she refused to turn her back on Christ when she was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists. Amina’s family was first attacked by the Islamist group in 2012, when a group of 20 militants raided her home and attempted to force her husband and children to renounce their Christian faith. When they refused, they were attacked one by one. “My husband died immediately”, said Amina, “but two of my children were later rushed to hospital and their lives were saved by God’s grace after surgery”. Five years later, she was attacked again. This time, Amina was hit three times when the terrorists opened fire on a bus she was travelling on. “They killed all the men immediately and then took the women to a forest where we were kept for eight months. All of us suffered from trauma, fear and anxiety.”