THE Rt Revd Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has complained of a “strident and bullying campaign” to marginalise Christianity in the UK.
At a symposium organised in the House of Lords last week by the Christian Broadcasting Council, Lord Carey said: “Christianity, which has given so much to our country, is now being sidelined as never before as though it is a stranger to our nation.”
Britain had “reached a point”, he said, “where politicians are mocked for merely expressing their faith. I cannot imagine any politician expressing concern that Britain should remain a Christian country. That reticence is a scandal and a disgrace to our history.”
He called on Christians to be more assertive and stand up for their faith in the public square. “If we behave like doormats, don’t be surprised if we are treated as though we are.”
One example of the anti-Christian campaign was pressure to ban faith schools, despite evidence that they performed better than many others. But there could be no direct comparison with violent persecution in other countries, he suggested.
The meeting was also addressed by Christians who had encountered opposition in the workplace over speaking about their faith.
Olive Jones, a teacher from Somerset, who had been dismissed after offering to pray for a pupil, told the symposium that she felt “treated as a criminal” (News, 5 February).
Also from Somerset, Caroline Petrie, a nurse who had offered to pray for a patient, had been dismissed before being reinstated. “I was told if I continued what I was doing, I would be struck off the nurses’ register,” she said (News, 6 February 2009).
Gary MacFarlane, a relationship counsellor from Bristol, had been dismissed after refusing to give sex therapy to gay couples (News, 16 January 2009).
The meeting heard that some 250 million Christians around the world suffered persecution .