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Easter sermons get political

10 April 2015

REUTERS

Purses: the Queen distributes Maundy Money during the Royal Maundy at Sheffield Cathedral

Purses: the Queen distributes Maundy Money during the Royal Maundy at Sheffield Cathedral

POLITICIANS across the board "fight shy" of stating the truth about the country's moral roots in the Bible, the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said last week.

In a strongly worded Good Friday message for The Yorkshire Post, Dr Sentamu wrote: "The truth which needs to be told, and of which politicians of all hues fight shy, is that the origin of the United Kingdom's moral direction is grounded in the Bible. . . Because of a misplaced sensitivity towards citizens of other faiths and of no religion, there is a conspiracy to keep silent about our living past. That's the equivalent of patricide and matricide in the world of ideas."

He accused politicians of failing to meet young people's "yearning for something more idealistic". This desire could be "misdirected", he suggested, pointing to "how some teenagers have been seduced by the promise of the false utopia of IS, or even martyrdom to that cause".

He warned: "Government programmes to prevent the radicalisation of young Muslims will be ineffective if all they can offer as an alternative is the status quo. . . Something far more worthwhile and exciting is needed."

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, lamented that the north-east had "the lowest levels of aspirations among young people in the whole country".

He said: "We all need to give our children and young people a sense of hope that their aspirations can be met rather than a sense that they will fail to achieve their dreams. We need also to help them have sensible hopes; not everyone can become a famous celebrity. Good hopes and aspirations are about being people who help others and contribute well to our whole society."

In a video message, the Prime Minister said: "We are a nation that embraces, welcomes, and accepts all faiths and none, but we are still a Christian country."

In a separate message, published in Premier magazine, Mr Cameron said that, despite being "hardly a model churchgoing, God-fearing Christian", he was "in no doubt about the matter: the values of the Christian faith are the values on which our nation was built".

The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Stanley Ntagali, delivered an unapologetically political Easter sermon. After referring to the trafficking of children and domestic violence, he spoke of reports that suggest that Uganda loses about ten per cent of its budget every year owing to corruption and bribes. "Most of the people in Uganda who are involved in corruption are actually parents who have children," he said. "This means that we are eating our children's future. Surely, greed and corruption have no place in our destiny."

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