lost an attempt Monday, November 20, to have that decision overturned.
In a statement, BA said it rejected the appeal of Nadia Eweida, 55, citing company rules which forbid employees from wearing religious symbols over their uniforms. Eweida, who claims she is the victim of religious persecution, said she did not want to hide the cross because "Jesus has to be glorified."
"I am fairly disappointed but I am looking forward to the next stage because…the truth has to be revealed," she reportedly told reporters, suggesting she may take the case to court now that the internal BA procedure has ended.
"It is an expression of my faith, based on the Christian religion which I adhere to, his coming back in glory to take me home with him," she added, referring to her crucifix.
"I didn’t realize that the cross would carry such weight but it only confirms and brings me closer to my faith because Jesus is alive," Eweida added in published remarks.
BA said however it offered Nadia Eweida, who works at Heathrow Airport, a non-uniformed job where she would be free to wear her necklace openly, but she turned it down, the company said.
Eweida "is not suspended and we want her to come back to work," the airline statement said. "We have explained to her the need to comply with the uniform policy like all her colleagues, whatever their faith."
British Airways said the uniform policy exists to maintain a "consistent image" around the world and that 34,000 employees, including thousands of Christians, follow it. "The policy does not ban staff from wearing a cross. It lays down that personal items of jewelry, including crosses, may be worn — but underneath the uniform," said the statement, released by The Associated Press (AP). "Other airlines have the same policy."
Her case received international attention after it was described by critics as a sign that the United Kingdom may see the beginning of religious persecution of Christians.
"Discrimination against Christians is commonplace in Muslim-majority contexts, such as Egypt where Nadia’s family roots are," said Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of Barnabas Fund, a Christian human rights group.
"It is part of Barnabas Fund’s work to make known cases of anti-Christian injustice around the world, and where possible to assist. Now we see the same thing increasingly happening within the UK," he added in a recent statement to BosNewsLife.
A television network flew her to the United States after her case became public last month, where she reportedly said she received "overwhelming support." (With reports from the United Kingdom and BosNewsLife reports).