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Former Bishop of Rochester to Lead Nationwide ‘Hustings’ to help Christians question Candidates

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Issued jointly by ‘Christians and Candidates 2010’ and ‘Christian Concern For Our Nation (CCFON)’

Press Release

For Immediate Release - UPDATED

11 March 2010

Former Bishop of Rochester to Lead Nationwide ‘Hustings’ to help Christians question Candidates

THE former Bishop of Rochester, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is to host a series of General Election Hustings across England in order to help local Christians question candidates for Westminster seats – and today he launches a video to explain why.

The Bishop, who has been outspoken about what he describes as the “marginalisation of Christianity in the public place” over many years, has accepted an invitation by the ‘Christians and Candidates 2010’ initiative to figure-head a series of hustings in local constituencies.

Bishop Michael will act as Chairman of debates at which candidates can make their views known to local Christians, and local Christians can put forward issues of deep concern to their prospective MP. Today he has launched a video (available on YouTube – see full link below) to explain why all Christians in the UK should take an active interest in the General Election – whenever it is called.

The evening events, being planned with co-operation of the main political parties will be held in partnership with local church leaders and will run from 17-30 April, although dates and venues may vary according to when the Prime Minister announces the long-expected date.

It is hoped that these meetings will act as a catalyst, encouraging local churches nationwide to provide similar forums for meaningful interactions between Christians and parliamentary candidates.

Bishop Michael said: “There are many reasons why Christians need to be actively involved in the coming General Election.  Firstly, as good citizens, Christians are called to pray for those who ‘rule’ over them. However, at the same time, there are also specific issues of real concern to believers.

“Many groups disproportionate to their size have had major influence on politics in this country and the political process and now is the time, in the run up to a General Election, for Biblically-minded Christians to get together to listen to, and then confront their would-be MPs with their questions.

“The specific issues of real concern arise from the development of laws passed over recent parliaments. The state of marriage, and the breakdown of family life affects not just our individual lives but our life as a community and nation.

“The dignity of the human person, and the implications of laws to effectively end life at its early or final states is of huge concern.

“Then there are very real concerns by deeply committed, publicly-minded and spirited Christians who are finding their Christian faith coming increasingly under pressure at work.  Some are being banned from wearing even the cross, others from praying for people at a very real time of need, and others, by virtue of their Christian views and convictions about marriage, are being prevented from serving on Adoption Panels or from being Civil Registrars if they do not sign up to the latest equality legislation.  Christians are being marginalised in the market place commercially and from serving in public office.

“These events will give Christians an opportunity to make their voice known.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of Christian Concern for our Nation (CCFON) which is supporting the ‘Christians and Candidates 2010’ initiative, added: “All political parties are coming out with policies in an attempt to win votes.  Christians are not interested in easy-fix, voter-friendly solutions to simply get any elector to tick the right box.  They are interested in supporting a Government which will work for the good of all, bring in laws which are based on just and right Judeo-Christian principles, and want to be treated with the same respect as other groupings in society.

“The Christians and Candidates events will help show political parties just how strongly electors – Christians feel about these issues.”

For full details of the events as they come on stream, please use the following contact details:

Email: media@christiansandcandidates.org  

Web: www.christiansandcandidates.org

Phone: 07540 722 445

To view Bishop Michael’s launch video, please visit the following YouTube link:

               

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSaEuCM3hpw

ENDS.

For further information:

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: 01689 881971 (oxtrad@gmail.com)

Andrea Minichiello Williams (CCFON): 07712 591164

Christians and Candidates 2010: 07540 722 445

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