Cherie Blair: Christians are marginalised in UK

Christians are being silenced and pushed to the fringes of society, the wife of Britain’s former Prime Minister has said.

Cherie Blair, a lawyer and Roman Catholic, said: “Christians are often being marginalised and faith is something few people like to discuss openly”.

However, she thinks the solution lies in traditional churches doing more to reflect the social changes of the 60s.

Her comments follow a spate of recent cases where Christians have been punished for their faith.

An NHS nurse, Caroline Petrie, was suspended for offering to pray for a patient and a foster carer was struck off for allowing a Muslim girl to convert to Christianity.

A five-year-old girl was scolded at school for discussing her Christian beliefs. Her mother, Jennie Cain, works at the school and may face the sack because she asked friends at church to pray about the matter.

A Christian care home had £13,000 of funding withdrawn because it would not quiz its elderly Christian residents about their sexual orientation every three months.

Mrs Blair’s comments echo those made by her husband after he stepped down as Prime Minister.

He said he chose not to talk about his religious beliefs while in office for fear of being labelled “a nutter”.

Since then Tony Blair has publicly embraced the Roman Catholic faith, the same faith as his wife.

Mrs Blair’s views are expressed in the final part of the Channel 4 series “Christianity: A History” to be screened on Sunday night, in which she gives her own perspective on the future of the religion.

Mrs Blair said women were “virtually invisible” in the public face of Christianity and that its failure to recover from the social changes of the 1960s was one of its “fundamental weaknesses”.

“Until the traditional churches fully resolve their relationship with the female half of the population, how can they expect Christianity to have a future in the modern world?” she asked.

The Channel 4 series features well-known figures, including Michael Portillo and Ann Widdecombe, each presenting a documentary on different “pivotal” points in the history of the Christian church.

Some of the episodes have been criticised for their skewed and subjective approaches to church history.

Related Resources