John Sentamu attacks ‘aggressive atheism’

Christianity is under threat from a new, intolerant brand of “aggressive atheism” intent on driving religion out of public life, the Archbishop of York warned yesterday.

Christianity is under threat from a new, intolerant brand of “aggressive atheism” intent on driving religion out of public life, the Archbishop of York warned yesterday. Dr John Sentamu, who is seen as the front-runner to replace Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, said arguments about tolerance were being used to disguise an increasingly militant anti-Christian tendency. Speaking during a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Newcastle, Dr Sentamu said the modern day Church needed “renewal” to get its message across in the face of challenges to its position. “What we are facing isn’t so much secularism, it is what I call ‘aggressive atheism’ disguising itself as secularism,” he said. “I’ve never been against secularisation because it allows the possibility for good debate and disagreement. But there is a strand within it which has become so intolerant, they think it is tolerant but it isn’t. It is the assumption that religion should have no space anywhere.”

His comments echo those of Baroness Warsi, the Conservative Party chairman, who warned of “militant secularism” after a series of controversies over the wearing of crosses and a High Court ban on prayers in local council meetings.

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Categories: Europe, UK

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