Churches urged to 'cross out' BNP in West Yorkshire

By staff writers
30 Mar 2009

The major church denominations in West Yorkshire have issued resources for local churches to use in addressing the threat from the British National Party at the European elections on 4 June.

The aids, made available by West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council, come as it emerged that the BNP intend to run adverts featuring a picture of Jesus Christ and attempting to portray the racist party as 'Christian.'

The resources include a specimen church magazine article in which church people are urged to 'USE YOUR CROSS' on election day.

The system of proportional representation means that the BNP could theoretically win a seat representing Yorkshire in the European Parliament.

Churches are being urged to be at the forefront of countering the appeal of the BNP.

The message is that everyone should come out and vote for another party, thus 'celebrating democracy'. and reducing the BNP's share of the vote.

In 2004, church leaders associated with West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council issued a forthright condemnation of the BNP's policies. This year, WYEC has made European election resource material available to help local churches. Guidance notes for ministers and the specimen church magazine article are being circulated around hundreds of churches in the region.

Clive Barrett, Ecumenical Officer for West Yorkshire, said: "The Christian message is of hope and unity; the BNP promote hate and division. I would urge every Christian to 'use your cross' and to cast your vote for one of the other parties on 4 June"

Resources - relevant bible references and websites - are on the WYEC website, www.wyec.co.uk

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