Four British Christians are launching a landmark case on religious freedom at the European Court of Human Rights.
The court in Strasbourg, France, will deal with the cases of two workers forced out of their jobs after visibly wearing crosses, a Relate therapist sacked for saying he might not be comfortable giving sex counselling to homosexual couples, and a Christian registrar who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.
British Airways worker Nadia Eweida, from Twickenham, south-west London, received widespread publicity when she was sent home in 2006 after refusing to remove a necklace with a cross or hide it from view.
An employment tribunal ruled Ms Eweida, whom court documents say is a Coptic Christian originally from Egypt, had not suffered religious discrimination, but the airline changed its uniform policy after the case to allow all religious symbols, including crosses.
Nurse Shirley Chaplin, from Exeter, was moved to a paperwork role by the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust in Devon after refusing to remove a necklace bearing a crucifix.
Gary McFarlane, a Bristol marriage counsellor, was sacked for refusing to give sex therapy to homosexuals and registrar Lillian Ladele was disciplined after she refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies in north London.
The four, whose cases have been publicly backed by Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, argue that the actions of their employers contravened articles nine and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit religious discrimination and allow "freedom of thought, conscience and religion".