Islam and “aggressive secularism” are threatening Britain’s Christian values, the former Bishop of Rochester has said.
Dr Michael Nazir-Ali said there must be a “clear recognition of where Britain has come from” in order to withstand attacks from either direction.
Dr Nazir-Ali was speaking to The Daily Telegraph before he stepped down.
The Pakistani-born 60-year-old could have held his position for several more years but instead plans to work with persecuted Christians overseas and Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain.
Commenting on modern Britain, he told the Telegraph: “I think there’s a double jeopardy – on the one hand an aggressive secularism that seeks to undermine the traditional principles because it has its own project to foster.
“On the other is the extremist ideology of radical Islam, which moderate Muslims are also concerned about.
“This is why there must be a clear recognition of where Britain has come from, what the basis is for our society and how that can contribute to the common good.”
Dr Nazir-Ali also said the Church of England should defend the traditional family and Christian festivals.
He told the Telegraph that such festivals are rarely opposed by other faiths but rather by atheists who want to sideline religion in public life.
Recently Dr Nazir-Ali warned that Christianity in the UK was being sidelined by “secularist agendas”.
He described how “nurses cannot pray, the Creed cannot be recited at Christian services for fear of offending non-believers, Christian marriage counsellors are removed because they believe in Christian marriage and Christian adoption agencies cannot be publicly funded because they believe that children are best brought up in a family with a mother and father to look after them.”
In 2008 Bishop Nazir-Ali stirred controversy when he said radical Islam was in danger of filling the moral vacuum left in Britain by the loss of Christian values.