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Lord Carey Launches Nationwide Leaflet Campaign to Mark 'Not Ashamed' Day

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Issued by Christian Concern for Our Nation

Press Release

Embargoed until 0001hrs

1 December 2010

Former Archbishop Launches Nationwide Leaflet Claiming Britain’s Christian Culture is ‘under Attack’ to the Detriment of the Whole of Society

LORD Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will today (1DEC) launch a leaflet that he hopes will be distributed to homes across the UK, warning that Britain’s Christian Culture is ‘under attack’.

At 12 noon on December 1, outside the House of Lords, Lord Carey will launch ‘Not Ashamed Day’ a nation-wide campaign organised by Christian campaign group Christian Concern, which seeks to speak up for Christian values in public life and represents Christians who face discrimination in public life.  He will also unveil his leaflet, which churches are ordering via the Internet to distribute house to house this Christmas.

Later in the day, a delegation will deliver a copy to Downing Street and to Buckingham Palace. Other leading figures in public life will also receive a copy. 

In the leaflet, Lord Carey says: “I am proud of our tradition [in Britain] of tolerance and our historic commitment to welcoming the stranger.  Yet what many people don’t realise is that it is the Christian Faith that underpins these great strengths and that has enriched our nation in so many other ways. However, this rich legacy is under attack.

“In spite of having contributed so much to our civilization and providing its foundation, the Christian Faith is in danger of being stealthily and subtly brushed aside. The evidence has been mounting in recent years. Teachers and council employees are suspended for offering to ‘say a prayer’. A devoted nurse is banned from wearing a cross, a British Airways worker told to remove hers. Roman Catholic adoption agencies are closed down under new laws. Christian marriage registrars who cannot, in good conscience, preside over civil partnership ceremonies are summarily dismissed.”

Lord Carey goes on to say: “This attempt to ‘air-brush’ the Christian Faith out of the picture is especially obvious as Christmas approaches. The cards that used to carry Christmas wishes now bear ‘Season’s greetings’. The local school nativity play is watered down or disappears altogether. The local council switches on ‘Winter lights’ in place of Christmas decorations. Even Christmas has become something of which some are ashamed.”

Lord Carey believes that flowing from a combination of well-meaning political correctness, multiculturalism and overt opposition to Christianity, a new climate, “hostile to our country’s tradition and history, is developing”.

Yet, he says, in the last census, 72% of people identified themselves as ‘Christians’. Millions continue to go to church regularly. Parents flock to church schools, knowing that their children are likely to get the best education in an environment with a caring, Christian ethos, and Churches and Christian charities continue to provide desperately needed services in every community in the country.  He asserts that the Church is far from dead - but is definitely under attack!

Following recent high-profile cases of Christian magistrates, nurses, fostering and adoption volunteers, counsellors and charity workers disciplined for simply being open about their Christian beliefs, Lord Carey asks: “Do we really want to consign the Christian Faith and the churches to the sidelines when they continue to give so much to our society? And, do we really want to rebrand Christmas, empty it of its meaning and ignore its significance for us today?”

Explaining his own ‘conversion’ as a teenager emerging from the horror of the war years, Lord Carey challengers readers to think again at the meaning of Christmas.  He says: “For me, I discovered that it was through submitting to Jesus, trusting him and making him the model of my existence that meaning, hope and wonder were given back to me. I realised that I could explain Jesus only by recognising him as far more than an ordinary human being, indeed as the Christ, the Son of God and the Lord of all. I have never regretted giving my life to him and following him.”

And in what might be seen by many as a interesting comment on the Government’s Big Society philosophy, Lord Carey says: “Jesus is the only one who can bring lasting freedom to individuals from anxiety, despair, guilt, shame, alienation, loneliness and the grip of death itself. But he is also the only one who can provide a solid foundation for a society characterised by care and compassion, justice and morality, hospitality and kindness, genuine respect and appropriate toleration, peace and prosperity, co-operation and public service.” He tempts politicians be asking: “Are we really ready to turn our back on all this? 2000 years ago Jesus began to turn the world upside down. He has continued to do so ever since.”

Lord Carey is one of a number of church leaders, including other Anglican Bishops, who have supported the ‘Not Ashamed’ Campaign, which has encouraged Christians to wear crosses and items featuring the ‘Not Ashamed’ logo to work on December 1. 

For details of Christian Concern’s ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign, visit www.notashamed.org.uk

ENDS.

For further information/interview:

Andrea Minichiello-Williams (CEO Christian Concern): 07712 591164
Andrew Marsh, ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign director: 07919 354456< Marsh, ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign director: 07919 354456

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