UK science teacher Robert Haye has lost his legal fight to return to the classroom.

Haye, a Seventh-day Adventist, lost his job at Deptford Green School in Lewisham, south-east London, in 2010 after a complaint by a teaching assistant triggered an investigation.

Haye told a group of students aged 15-16 that the Bible condemns homosexuality, saying that the way gay people lived was “disgusting” and a sin.

On a separate occasion, he told students that “anyone who worships on Sunday is basically worshiping the devil.”

Seventh-day Adventists observe the Sabbath on Saturday.

Haye appealed a broad teaching ban imposed against him. He said he was unprepared to “recant” his religious beliefs in order to return to teaching.

“Christians are now being persecuted in this country for believing in the Bible,” Haye is quoted as saying by the Press Association. “That cannot be. We have a right to believe and express what we believe, but people are now afraid of being punished for not being politically correct.”

The judge in the case said that it was “not about the right of a teacher to hold sincerely-held beliefs based on the Bible in relation to homosexuality or attendance at church on Sundays. It has been about how those beliefs and views are manifested in the context of teaching in schools with young people with diverse sexuality, backgrounds and beliefs.”