Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has said the United Kingdom should be unashamedly “evangelical” about its Christian faith and actively give churches and other faith groups a greater role in society.
Writing in today’s edition of the Anglican ‘Church Times’, Cameron said he had experienced the “healing power” of religion in his own life and insisted that Christianity could transform the “spiritual, physical, and moral” state of Britain and even the world, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.
A member of the Church of England, the political leader described the UK as a “Christian country” despite saying we live in an increasingly “secular age”. He also attacked those who demand a strict “neutrality” in public life on religious matters arguing that it would deprive Britain of a vital source of morality.
The Telegraph says his comments amount to “an olive branch” to the churches in the wake of rows over issues such as the legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ and welfare cuts. His Government has also been accused of failing to stand up for Christians.
The ruling Conservative Party is said to have also lost many core voters over same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation which was not in the party’s manifesto during the 2010 election. Cameron’s remarks also come ahead of a general election next year at a time when his party has increasingly lost support to the UK Independence Party.
Last week, at a London reception held by Aid to the Church in Need, Cameron acknowledged that Christians “are now the most persecuted religion around the world” and said “we should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can.”
Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, who heads the Catholic bishops’ department for the new evangelisation, said the comments would strike a chord with many. “I think people will be glad to see the Gospel getting back into politics – or explicitly back into politics, it is there in a lot of what the government tries to do, in looking after people,” he said.
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