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'Our faith is being targeted .... and we've been thrown to the lions': the Christian hoteliers accused of insulting Muslim guest reveal
by Jonathan Petre and Andrew Chapman
When they called their hotel The Bounty House, Benjamin and Sharon Vogelenzang did so in the hope it would be 'filled with peace and plenty'. The sentiment might sound corny, but they meant it.
The couple have spent ten years refurbishing a large, rather plain building in the Liverpool suburb of Aintree, hoping to run a 'boutique' guest house in accordance with their own deeply felt Christian beliefs.
But there has been little peace or plenty in recent months for the Vogelenzangs, and soon there might be no Bounty House either.
Last week, they were cleared of insulting a Muslim guest when high-profile 'hate crime' allegations were thrown out by a judge to public applause. But, faced with £400,000 of debt and the wreckage of a business they say has been all but destroyed by the controversy, there has been little celebration for Ben and Sharon – just bewilderment at the way they have been treated.
The experience has left them questioning their faith in the police, in the Crown Prosecution Service and in a British establishment that seems bent on protecting all manner of rights and sensitivities. Unless, that is, you are a church-going Christian.
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