Britain is a Christian country, says PM

Published 20 December 2011
David Cameron has marked the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with a speech in which he said that Britain was a Christian country and "we should not be afraid to say so".

Addressing an audience at Christ Church on Friday, the Prime Minister suggested that Christianity made Britain a more tolerant country and provided it with a moral framework.

The Prime Minister described himself as a "committed" but "vaguely practising" Christian who is "full of doubts" and "constantly grappling with the difficult questions when it comes to some of the big theological issues".

Nonetheless, he praised the King James Bible as one of Britain's "greatest achievements" and said he would "stand up for the values and principles" of the Christian faith.

"We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so," he said.

"Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith – or no faith – is somehow wrong.

"I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion. And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger.

"But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today, values and morals we should actively stand up and defend.

"The alternative of moral neutrality should not be an option."

Mr Cameron said it was right to acknowledge that Britain's language, culture and politics are "steeped in the Bible".

"We live and breathe the language of the King James Bible, sometimes without realising it," he said.

Churches have hosted seminars, exhibitions, special services and other events throughout the year to mark 400 years since the completion of the King James Bible in 1611.

A service attended by the Queen was held last month at Westminster Abbey as part of the celebrations.


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