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'Militant secularisation is creating double jeopardy for Western cultures'

By Staff

London, June 25 : One of the most outspoken and conservative leaders of the Church of England has claimed that the declining importance of the church is creating a "double jeopardy" situation where faith is being challenged at a time when society would most benefit.

The Telegraph quoted the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, as saying that believers needed to recover their nerve and spread the gospel again.

Dr. Nazir Ali, who earlier this year had claimed that the decline of Christianity had led to a collapse of Britishness, said: "The greatest challenge is that of militant secularisation, which is creating a double jeopardy for western cultures."

"It is losing its Christian discourse at the very time when it needs it most," he added.

"Let us pray that we are able to recover our Christian nerve in the West and make sure the Gospel is not lost, and that all that is valuable in western culture - much of which comes from its Judeo-Christian background - will survive as a way to enhance cultures in the west and renew them once again," he added."

Dr Nazir-Ali said he could not apologise for wanting to explain Christianity to Muslims and to great laughter he added: "That's not the only thing I want to do to them."

The Pakistan-born bishop repeated his claim that the church began its decline in influence when parents stopped passing the faith on to their children.

"Don't blame anyone else," he said.

Dr Nazir-Ali said when changes took place in society they must be assessed against the Bible to see whether they should be accepted, and should not just be waved through.

He said those who were attending Gafcon, many of who like him are boycotting the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference gathering of bishops because of their opposition to liberals over homosexuality, were at the forefront of a revival of Anglicanism.

The bishop suggested that the current structure of Anglicanism was not good enough to deal with its divisions over sexuality, which has seen American liberals consecrate an openly gay bishop in defiance of church rules.

He was greeted with a standing ovation as he gave a speech to a breakaway summit in Jerusalem of more than 1,000 traditionalists from across the Anglican Communion who opposed gay priests and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Nazir-Ali, earlier this week, said that those who tolerate homosexuality in the clergy to repent, also said he was "frustrated" that decisions, which had been made in the church, had not been stuck to.


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