Cameron’s comments, in an Easter article in the Anglican publication Church Times, included, “I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organizations, and frankly, more evangelical about (our) faith.”
Although Britain has an established Christian church, immigration from non-Christian countries has increased.
The article prompted a four-paragraph letter of complaint, published Monday in a London newspaper and signed by 56 prominent writers, broadcasters and scientists.
The letter accused Cameron of misrepresenting Britain and claimed, “Most of us (in Britain) as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities. At a social level, Britain has been shaped for better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian and post-Christian forces.”
It added Cameron’s article “fuels enervating sectarian debates that are, by and large, absent from the lives of most British people.”
Some critics suggested Cameron, of the Conservative Party and with an election year looming, used the article to highlight conservative values and weaken a rival right wing party, the United Kingdom Independence Party.
[New York Times]