Fmr UK Archbishop: Cameron 'Betrayed' Christians

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LONDON -- A recent poll shows two thirds of Christians in the United Kingdom believe they are a persecuted minority.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey says the situation isn't that bad yet, but he does believe that discrimination against Christians is getting worse and that Prime Minister David Cameron is responsible.

Cameron's support for gay marriage, along with a growing number of discrimination cases against Christians in the workplace, had led Lord Carey to accuse the prime minister of betraying Christians.

The former archbishop wrote an article in the Daily Mail accusing the government of aiding and abetting discrimination against Christians and said many doubted Cameron's sincerity in pledging to protect their freedoms.

"I was very keen to make a very clear statement about what I regard as the duplicity of the prime minister in saying wonderful words about the Christian church and what the leaders are doing...but the actions of his government go in a completely different direction," he wrote.

Lord Carey cited a number of cases where the government has discriminated against Christians in the workplace, including Nurse Shirley Chaplin, who was removed from front-line nursing after she refused to remove her cross.

He also cited the case of children's worker Celestina Mbam, who lost her job after refusing to work on a Sunday.
 
"Christians are being discriminated against and some are losing their jobs," Carey said. "I think we've got to stand up for our faith today whether in America, Britain, elsewhere. I often say if you behave like a doormat, don't be surprised if people treat you like one."

Lord Carey believes it's especially crucial for Christians to speak out against the Cameron government's push to legalize gay marriage.

"We must work with government not to rescind our marital laws, but to strengthen marriage -- marriage of one man to one woman with the ideal of ''till death do us part,'" Carey wrote.

However, he made it clear he does not believe Christians in the West are persecuted, nor does he believe the prime minister has an anti-Christian agenda. He says the growing decline of religious freedoms has more to do with lack of Biblical knowledge.

"I think a lot has to do with ignorance," Carey said. "We've lost the whole hinterland of Christian theology in our country. And so people can confuse marriage with just being nice to one another and if one man loves another man then that is the equal of marriage, which of course it's not."

"We are inheriting now the heritage of neglect of the Bible and I think it's a challenge of the churches to get back to scriptural teaching," he admonished.

Still, he believes that while Christians must speak out, they must be careful in how they communicate their message.

"Don't take anything for granted; don't let people get away with it -- argue. But the second and most important thing is get the tone right. Speak with gentleness. Speak in the truth and in love; be courteous to others," Carey said.

So as Lord Carey sends out his challenge to the United Kingdom church to raise their voice before government, the question remains will the prime minister listen and bring the nation back to Godly values. 

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Peter Wooding

CBN News UK Correspondent

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