British Prime Minister David Cameron has been blasted by 55 top public figures for saying in his Easter message that Britain is still a “Christian country”.
The 55 include writers Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett, Nobel Prize-winning scientists John Sulston and Harold Kroto.
Commentators suggest he is trying to build bridges with the Church, which opposed government plans to introduce gay marriage, and following vocal criticism from many clergy about the impact of the government’s austerity measures.
“Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn’t talk about these things. I completely disagree,” the Conservative prime minister wrote in the Church Times, an Anglican newspaper.
“I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.” Cameron’s claims.
Cameron has always never hidden his faith but he has never been evangelical about it. A spokeswoman for Cameron said the prime minister had made clear as far back as December 2011 that he believed Britain was a Christian country, although he recognises the importance of different faith groups.