A Christian nurse was suspended after praying for a Muslim colleague.
Muslim Enya Newaz has ongoing health problems, and Christian Victoria Wasteney says she offered prayer.
"She was very emotional and tearful and was talking to me about her fear of dying. I put my hand on her knee to comfort her—asking her if that was all right—and prayed with her, asking God to heal her," Wasteney tells Telegraph. "It was a natural and open thing for me to do, and she didn't object in anyway."
Wasteney also lent Newaz a copy of the book I Dared to Call Him Father, about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.
Now, Newaz accuses Wasteney of trying to convert her. The East London NHS Foundation Trust suspended Wasteney on full pay, saying she was bullying and harassing Newaz.
Wasteney tells the Telegraph Newaz's complaint alleges that unless Newaz converts, Wasteney said the sickness would remain. Newaz filed the complaint after she left her job. Wasteney says she believes Newaz was pressured into the complaint.
Wasteney, though, denies the conversion claims. "We discussed our beliefs but I certainly didn't tell her that my way was the only way," Wasteney tells the the DailyMail. "I don't even believe it's possible to force someone to convert."
The two had previously bonded over their passion to fight human trafficking, and Newaz was reportedly even considering attending a few of Wasteney's church events.
Wasteney is now legally challenging her suspension.
"Its ridiculous that people now feel they cannot openly discuss religion or their own spirituality," she tells Telegraph. "Do we want to reach the point where people are scared to invite colleagues and work friends to events like their children's christening or a wedding for fear of offending?"
Wasteney is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
"The way in which Victoria was treated highlights the extraordinary anxiety we now feel over causing any offence to Muslims," CLC CEO Andrea Williams tells Telegraph. "This creates a climate of fear and intimidation that keeps people from speaking about what they believe."
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