Common sense to sideline Christianity at expense of Islam: UK minister

June 9th, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, June 9 (ANI): British Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has defended the Labour Governments policy on religion, and said it is common sense for Christianity to be sidelined at the expense of Islam.

A report commissioned by the Church of England criticised the Labour Government for paying lip service to Christianity and favouring Islam and other minority religions. The damning study criticised the policies of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for focusing intently on minority beliefs while neglecting the Anglican faith.

Blears said it was right that more money and effort was spent on Islam than Christianity because of the threat from extremism and homegrown terrorism, The Telegraph reported.

Blears told BBC Radio 4s Sunday programme: Thats just common sense. If weve got an issue where we have to build resilience of young Muslim men and women to withstand an extremist message.

We live in a secular democracy. Thats a precious thing. We dont live in a theocracy, but weve always accepted that hundreds of thousands of people are motivated by faith. We live in a secular democracy but we want to recognise the role of faith, she added.

The Church of England bishop responsible for the report, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, said afterwards: Blears said we live in a secular democracy. That comes as news to me — we have an established Church, but the Government cant deal with Christianity.

The 180-page report, entitled Moral, But No Compass shows how church leaders feel betrayed by the Government.

It also echoes claims made by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, last week that the decline of Christian values is destroying Britishness and has created a moral vacuum which radical Islam is filling. (ANI)

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