When a bishop has to leave the Church of England to stand up for Christians, what hope is left for Britain?
By Melanie Phillips, writing in the Daily Mail
The resignation of Michael Nazir-Ali as Bishop of Rochester is a terrible blow, not just for the Church of England but for Britain.
The bishop says he is resigning so that he can work for endangered or beleaguered Christian minorities both abroad and in the UK.
What a shocking rebuke to the church, that he has to leave his post of influence and authority as a bishop in order to carry out the church's core duty to defend its own against attack.
Shocking - but hardly surprising. Across the world, in countries such as Nigeria and Sudan, millions of Christians are being persecuted at the hands of militant Islam, with forced conversions, the burning of churches and widespread violence.
Yet in the face of this global onslaught, the Church of England makes scarcely a peep of protest.
Worse still, when Dr Nazir-Ali warned last year that Islamic extremists had created 'no-go areas' across Britain where non-Muslims faced intimidation, he was disowned by his fellow churchmen who all but declared that he was a liar - even though he was telling the truth.
For this act of moral courage, he and his family had to be put under police protection, while his own church left him to swing in the wind of bigotry and intimidation.
Dr Nazir-Ali is one of the very few inside the church to make explicit the link between Christian and British values, and to warn publicly that they are being destroyed through the prevailing doctrine of multiculturalism.
That strong voice of protest has never been needed more than it is now. For Christianity in Britain is under attack from all sides.
Last month, the bishop protested that the arrival in Britain of so many from other faiths had led to the closure of chapels, the retrenchment of Christian chaplaincy and the advent of a 'doctrinaire multi-faithism' - not through pressure from the incoming minorities, but from British secularists who wanted to destroy Christianity.
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