David Cameron has said that Britain is committed to “standing up for Christians” at home and abroad.
In his Easter message, published on YouTube, he said: “Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right.
“Britain is committed to protecting and promoting that right, by standing up for Christians and other minorities, at home and abroad.”
“Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar, and an incredibly special time for people across Britain and around the world. Last month I was in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and I got to see for myself the places where Jesus was born and died. It was an extraordinary experience to be in those places where so much history began.”
He also called on viewers to think of those around the world “who are ostracised, abused — even murdered — simply for the faith they follow”.
The Prime Minister highlighted a similar point during the Downing Street Easter reception, when he said Christianity was the most persecuted religion around the world.
He said, however, that Britain “can play a leading role” in raising the profile of the issue.
Referring to MP Eric Pickles, who told atheists to ‘get over’ Britain being a Christian nation, Cameron said: “I am proud of the fact that we are a Christian country and we shouldn’t be ashamed to say so”.
He told the audience that what is needed is: “More belief that we can get out there and actually change people’s lives and make a difference and improve both the spiritual, physical and moral state of our country”.
In a separate interview with a BBC radio station he said that he had recently discussed Easter with his children and told them that the festival is not about chocolate eggs.