The vast majority of evangelical Christians in the UK recognise the danger of the Government’s ‘British values’ agenda, a new survey has found.
The survey of more than 1,700 people who describe themselves as evangelicals found that more than 80 per cent think policies designed to counter extremism “may make it harder for Christians to express their faith in public”.
It comes after widespread criticism of the Government’s controversial Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs).
The study, by the Evangelical Alliance, also found that 75 per cent agree that free speech needs greater protection.
In addition, 79 per cent think that the Government’s view of British values is based on secular ideals rather than biblical Christianity.
In response to the findings, Evangelical Alliance spokesman Dr David Landrum warned that vital freedoms are at risk in the UK.
He said: “Our fundamental freedoms are being threatened by the Government over-reacting to security threats to those very freedoms.
“We may be in danger of destroying the foundations while trying to protect the house we have built on them.”
Dr Landrum also stressed that, “it’s the central truths of Christianity that led to the very freedoms we now rely on.
“If we want to restore values to the heart of British society we need to remember where they came from.”
Earlier this year, David Cameron stated that: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”
Worryingly, he promised: “This Government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.”
In July, Sir Jonathan Evans, a former head of MI5, warned that “Harmless evangelical street preachers” could be subjected to crackdowns if the Government legislated for EDOs.
EDOs have been widely criticised for raising the prospect of people falling foul of the law for merely holding unpopular, traditional or challenging views.
The proposals are being opposed by groups as diverse as The Christian Institute and the National Secular Society, as well as elements of the media, lawyers, police officers and security experts.