08 June 2008

Report claims British govt ignores Anglican Church

A report drawn up by the Cambridge-based Von Hugel Institute for the Church of England is claiming that the British government pays "lip service" to the Church, as well as to other branches of Christianity, and favours Islam and other minority religions.

The report, entitled "Moral, but No Compass", claims that the government has demonstrated a "lack of understanding of, or interest in, the Church of England's current or potential contribution in the public sphere." Instead, the government focuses "almost exclusively" on Muslims and other religious minorities.

According to Stephen Hulme, the Bishop of Lowe, the Church spokesman on urban affairs, government departments had "nothing, absolutely nothing" in the way of information on Church of England activities. At the same time, according to Bishop Hulme, the Church of England is and has long been the biggest volunteer organisation in the country.

The report also calls for the establishment of a Minister of Religion position in the cabinet. According to Bishop Lowe, the proposed minister's role would be to coordinate relations between the government and religious groups (BBC).

It's not surprising that there is something of a backlash when Britain's official religion is marginalised by the government. At the same time, though, the number of practising Anglicans in Britain is about the same as the number of practising Muslims. It's no wonder, then, that the British government pays attention to its Muslim community. Nevertheless, more balance would probably be better for everyone.


DTH said...

It's called taking it for granted.

Rashed said...

Hi, DTH. I think the British government is either "taking it for granted", as you say, or, perhaps, it just doesn't understand the role that the Church of England still plays in society. The government might be driven in part by the "Christianity represents the past" attitude. After all, Blair had to leave office before he could start talking about his faith in earnest.

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