Poirot actor David Suchet is the latest public figure to claim that “Christianity is being marginalised” in Britain.
The actor does some work for a charity that was recently turned down for Government funding “because it was a Christian charity.” The charity had previously been funded by the Government for several years.
In an interview with Woman’s Weekly magazine the star commented: “We are in danger of losing the importance of the Christian faith in our own country.” He added that people are more concerned about “not offending other faiths.”
He said: “Don’t misunderstand me. We should embrace all religions and marginalise none.”
Talking about his own faith, he recalled how he had bought a Bible and read Paul’s letter to the Romans.
It described “how to be as a Christian, and it slotted right into what I had been searching for: something beyond, something quite mystical, but also a way of being that I could relate to.”
Earlier this year Radio 2 host Jeremy Vine highlighted the increasing hostility facing Christians, particularly from the media. He told Reform Magazine that it has become “almost socially unacceptable to say you believe in God”.
In February Cherie Blair, the wife of Britain’s former Prime Minister and a Roman Catholic, said: “Christians are often being marginalised and faith is something few people like to discuss openly”.
Baroness Warsi, a Muslim, has pointed to “a growing intolerance and illiberal attitude towards those who believe in God.” In a speech at this year’s Conservative Party conference she talked of those “who have hijacked the pursuit of ‘equality’ by demanding a dumbing down of faith.”
The Archbishop of York has spoken of intolerance against Christian groups when it comes to funding community initiatives. Last year Dr John Sentamu said that faith groups appear to be viewed as “tainted and unsuitable for receipt of funding” by public bodies.
More than four in five Christians (84 per cent) think that religious freedoms of speech and action are now at risk in the UK, according to a poll published in January by ComRes.