A Muslim police group has received at least six times more funding than a Christian group in recent years, according to new figures released by the Home Office.
The National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) received £90,000 in Government grants in the last two years, but the Christian Police Association (CPA) received a mere £15,000 in the past five years.
The CPA has disputed the Home Office figures, saying the amount of funding they actually received was even lower.
Don Axcell, executive director of the CPA, said: “The only money we received was £10,000 in 2009”.
He added: “As a Christian charity we have to rely on the public for funds as our requests for money from government are largely rejected or ignored. Our letters go unanswered.”
Christian groups have expressed alarm at the funding discrepancies.
Alan Craig, leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance, said: “This is yet another sign of Christianity being written off the agenda.
“Christians are constantly marginalised and discriminated against by the Government, who are ignoring one of this country’s principal faiths.”
However, a spokesman for the Home Office attempted to defend the discrepancies in the funding, saying: “The objectives of these two organisations are very different, so this comparison is misleading.”
The spokesman added: “The National Association of Muslim Police bids annually for funding to help with specific outreach programmes, such as work with Muslim youths and women to promote careers in the police service.
“We also consider requests for funding from staff groups where specific projects fit with our priorities to reduce crime and improve minority representation within the police service. We have therefore also supported qualifying projects from groups such as the Christian Police Association.”
The NAMP, which was formed in 2007, hit the headlines earlier this year when it claimed that the Government’s anti-terrorism strategy “stigmatised” Muslims.
A recent Christian Institute report, called Marginalising Christians, revealed the extent to which Christians in Britain are being squeezed out of public life, including by unfair barriers to public funding.
Last July another report, co-authored by Rt Revd Stephen Lowe, Bishop for Urban Life and Faith, revealed that the Government has been diverting state funds towards Muslim groups and away from Christian groups wanting to help the poor.
And last March it was revealed that Islamic organisations in Scotland receive more public funding for ‘equality’ than all other religious groups put together.
In 2008 Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, warned of Government “intolerance” against Christian groups when it comes to funding community initiatives.