Resigning bishop warns UK
The out-going Bishop of Rochester, who resigned last week to focus on helping the persecuted church, has warned Britain against drifting from its Christian moorings. Quoted by the Christian Institute, Michael Nazir-Ali called on Christians to learn from the witness of believers suffering for their faith overseas.
The bishop rejected the popular assumption that all faiths provide the same values as Christianity, and warned that in Britain celebrations of ‘mere diversity are replacing the spiritual and moral framework provided by the Judaeo-Christian tradition’.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Bishop Nazir-Ali said, ‘Our ideas about the sacredness of the human person at every stage of life, of equality and natural rights and, therefore, of freedom, have arisen from the tradition rooted in the Bible. Yet Britain has developed a “values vacuum”, and is suffering from a selective sort of amnesia’.
He reminded readers: ‘The pages of history, such as Magna Carta, the campaign to abolish the slave trade and, later, slavery itself, the easing of conditions of labour for men, women and children, and the introduction of universal education, which all took place under the inspiration of the Christian faith, are forgotten or ignored’.
State of church
The former bishop also said that the church in Britain had failed to provide robust opposition to the slide away from Christian values, particularly in the area of abortion. Referring to the persecuted Christians, he added: ‘In their clear and sacrificial witness, they have a great deal to teach the churches of the West’.
Practising Catholic Damian Thompson, leader writer on religion for the Daily Telegraph, lamented Michael Nazir-Ali’s resignation saying: ‘Bishop Nazir-Ali is the only incumbent bishop who not only understands the true incompatibility of Sharia law with our ancient common law, but also follows in great detail the incremental changes to the public sector in order to accommodate Islamic religious demands.
‘It’s not surprising that he finds it impossible to exercise his office under the leadership of an Archbishop of Canterbury who, shamefully, wishes to afford greater state recognition to Sharia’.