Five church leaders and many 'Christians' on BNP list

Five church leaders and many 'Christians' on BNP list

By staff writers
19 Nov 2008

Five 'Reverends' were amongst the names in a list of BNP members posted on the internet, as well as a number of other people listed as having associations with churches, or being 'Christians'.

A police officer, more than a dozen soldiers, a vicar and a Chelsea pensioner have previously been named in the media as members on the list, which Mr Griffin, the BNP's party leader, has confirmed was correct to 2007.

But there are in fact five different individuals on the list - which has now been removed from the site on which it was first posted - listed with the title "Rev".

In addition a number of others are listed as church-attenders. Some are listed with hobbies such as "church singing". Others are listed simply as attending church, with their denomination included or as a 'Christian'.

One person is listed as working for a business dealing with primarily Christian books. Another is listed as a Pentecostal Christian attending an Assemblies of God church. Another is called a Quaker. Still another a "practising Catholic".

Others are said to be Cathedral tour guides, members of the Anglican Society, and supporters of the Evangelical Open Doors charity which works with persecuted Christians around the world - many in predominantly Muslim countries.

Another is listed as someone who preaches regularly in Baptist, United Reformed and Presbyterian churches. One is described as a "committed Evangelical christian" who attends bible studies and prayer meetings. Others are described on the BNP list as "born again" Christians.

The overwhelming majority of the list records have no comments on them, making it impossible to know whether they have been identified as having a religious affiliation. Where there are comments on the list, faith will not always be recorded. The number of 'Christians' is likely therefore to be much higher than the list reveals.

Further investigation has shown that one of the "Revs" appears to have gained his title through Universal Ministries, an online service which "will ordain anyone, at no charge, for life." Another had previoulsy said he had joined the BNP by mistake and left the party - although blogs on the internet elsewhere suggest he changed his mind and joined the party again.

It has been previously suggested that the BNP is seeking to gain ground by playing on false fears about race and immigration, and by seeking to exploit the mythology of a white 'Christian Britain'.

The BNP has also attempted to exploit hard-line Christian conservatism by seeking to set up a body claiming to be a 'Christian Council of Britain', by scaremongering about Muslims, and by getting in on anti-Jerry Springer opera protests promoted by the controversial group Christian Voice - which has since distanced itself from them.

The Observer newspaper has reported that the BNP has sought to build an alliance with anti-abortion activists in an attempt to reach out to Catholics and secure their votes in future elections.

In April 2004 a maths teacher set to stand for the British National Party (BNP) in the European elections was suspended by his school.

Many churches do not allow BNP candidates a platform when they hold hustings meetings during local, national and European elections.

The BNP members were exposed after bloggers posted about 12,000 names, together with home addresses, telephone numbers, jobs and even hobbies online.

The leak led some BNP members to fear that they may lose their jobs or face other reprisals.

At least one serving police officer is on the membership list.

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