Mary Onuoha, 61, was fired by Croydon University Hospital in Thornton Heath, England, stating she was “bullied” out of her position for wearing a cross necklace.
“This has always been an attack on my faith,” Onuoha adding, “My cross has been with me for 40 years. It is part of me, and my faith, and it has never caused anyone any harm.”
Hospital administrators told Onuoha to cover up her cross–citing safety concerns. Onuoha said other women who wore necklaces and bracelets were never asked to change. “At this hospital there are members of staff who go to a mosque four times a day and no one says anything to them. Hindus wear red bracelets on their wrists and female Muslims wear hijabs in theatre. Yet my small cross around my neck was deemed so dangerous that I was no longer allowed to do my job.”
Onuoha shared when patients remarked on her necklace with admiration. “Patients often say to me ‘I really like your cross.’ They always respond to it in a positive way and that gives me joy and makes me feel happy. I am proud to wear it as I know God loves me so much and went through this pain for me.”
Christian Concern, based in the United Kingdom, represents Onuoha. They appeared on Oct. 5 before the Croydon Employment Tribunal to begin her suit against the hospital.