C of E: Government is sidelining Christianity

Gordon Brown’s Government is discriminating against Christianity in favour of other religions, says an official Church of England report.

It accuses Labour of failing to acknowledge the breakdown in society and excluding vital Christian voices.

The report, which has been endorsed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, states: “We encountered on the part of the Government a significant lack of understanding, or interest in, the Church of England’s current or potential contribution in the public sphere.

“Indeed we were told that Government had consciously decided to focus…almost exclusively on minority religions.”

It adds: “Every participant in our study from the Church agreed that there was deep ‘religious illiteracy’ on the part of the Government.”

The report echoes comments made recently by the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, who said the dismantling of Christian values has left a ‘moral vacuum’ which will be filled by radical Islam.

Rather than refuting the Church of England’s accusations the Communities Minister, Hazel Blears, said it was “common sense” for the Government to pay more attention to Islam than Christianity.

She told BBC Radio 4′s Sunday programme: “It’s just common sense. I would put it as simply as that. If you have a situation where you need to build the resilience of young Muslim men and women to be able to withstand an extremist message then of course you do that kind of work, but it doesn’t mean you do it exclusively.”

Following news that two Christians in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham were told by police officers: “you can’t preach here, this is a Muslim area”, Rod Liddle wrote in the Spectator that evangelical Christians have become “the most vigorously persecuted and least protected” group in the country.