LONDON (The Blaze/AP) -- A British Cabinet minister says Europe is threatened by a wave of "militant secularism" and religion should play a bigger role in public life.
Sayeeda Warsi says Europe should "become more confident and more comfortable in its Christianity." Additionally, she calls for a society in which "faith has a place at the table, though not an exclusive position."
In an article for Tuesday's Daily Telegraph, she accuses militant secularists of having the same intolerant instincts as authoritarian regimes. She writes:
For a number of years I have been saying that we need to have a better understanding of faith in our country. Why? Because I profoundly believe that faith has a vital and important role to play in modern society. But mistakenly, faith has been neglected, undermined – and yes, even attacked – by governments in recent years. [...]
I will be arguing that to create a more just society, people need to feel stronger in their religious identities and more confident in their creeds. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faiths and nations not denying their religious heritages. [...]
My fear today is that a militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies. We see it in any number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings; when states won’t fund faith schools; and where religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere.
This isn't the first time that Warsi has stood up for faith and religion. In October, she encouraged Christians to stand up for their faith. It was then that she wrote a weekend editorial of the Daily Telegraph, saying that the British people need to foster an environment in their home country where they can be:
“…unashamedly proud of their faith – where they don’t feel that they have to leave religion at the door. That means being proud of Christianity, not downgrading it.”
Warsi, a Muslim, is leading a delegation of British politicians to the Vatican this week. Her call for religious revitalization comes at the same time that prayer is being banned at local council meetings across London and Wales and numerous laws and incidents reinforce the ongoing conflict between faith and the public sphere.
Most Britons are not regular churchgoers, and for years political leaders have largely heeded the advice of Tony Blair's spin doctor, Alastair Campbell - "We don't do God."
But Prime Minister David Cameron recently urged the Church of England to lead a revival of traditional Christian values.