Christianophobia warning from MP
Mr Pritchard criticised the “politically correct brigade”
Attempts to move Christian traditions to the “margins” of British life have “gone far enough”, an MP has said.
Mark Pritchard said “Christianophobia” of the “politically correct brigade” also ran the risk of Christianity being hijacked by extremist parties.
The Tory MP said he did not want to criticise people of other faiths, but wanted to “recognise and protect the Christian tradition of this nation”.
He has called a Westminster debate on Christianophobia for Wednesday.
Ahead of the debate the MP for Wrekin, Shropshire, told the BBC: “The debate is not about doing God or theocracy. It’s about ensuring that the Christian tradition of our nation is recognised.
“If mainstream political parties do not recognise and protect the Christian tradition of this nation then other more extremist parties will.
“If that happens, we are in danger of Christianity being hijacked by these ambitions.”
Mr Pritchard said the debate was particularly topical, as recent findings suggested four fifths of schools were not staging Nativity plays this year.
He added: “I’m not saying there shouldn’t choice within theatrical provision on schools. But Christmas time would be a highly appropriate time to do Nativity plays, with its message of hope and love and light.
“This would be a positive contribution for children. This isn’t criticising people of other faiths or of no faith.
“Freedom of speech and of religion are fundamental principles of any liberal democracy.
“I hope this debate will put down a marker to the government and public bodies.”
Mr Pritchard said many officials and public bodies forgot the work done by Christians in charity, business and public service.
He added: “Some people seem to want to forget the Christian tradition going back to the first century and its contribution to arts, culture and science.
“It’s gone far enough. If there are those who want to see the Christian church reduced to the margins in this nation they should have the courage to say so, rather than using the rights of other religions as an excuse.”
The Christianophobia debate takes place on Wednesday.
(HT: BBC NEWS web site)