Four British Christians – including one from the Westcountry – have launched a landmark case on religious freedom at the European Court of Human Rights.
Nurse Shirley Chaplin, from Exeter, is among the group taking action at the court in Strasbourg, France.
She was moved to a paperwork role by the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust after refusing to remove a necklace bearing a crucifix.
The legal action includes another worker forced out of her job for visibly wearing a cross, 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.
Legal papers were served at the court yesterday, although judgment in the case has been reserved, for a date to be set.
The four have been publicly backed by Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
They are arguing 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".