Churches dismiss BNP’s election posters

By staff writers
March 31, 2009

Three British Churches, the Methodists, the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Church have reminded people of the 'true Christian message of love' for all people following the inclusion of Jesus in a BNP election campaign.

Their statement comes after the Church of England declined to comment on the posters which feature a bible verse quoting Jesus' words about persecution, in the run up to the European Elections in June.

The posters carry a picture of Jesus Christ on the cross and quote [a] part of a verse from John's Gospel (John 15:20) in which Jesus says: "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you". The verse comes in the context of Jesus' teaching about love.

Christine Elliott, Secretary for External Relations for The Methodist Church, said: “When Jesus was asked about what was the most important rule of life he said: 'Love God with all of your being and love your neighbour as yourself.'

“It’s ironic that the BNP is using the world’s most famous Jew to promote its racist message.

“Our traditions have a history of promoting racial justice and inclusion and rejecting messages of hate and fear.

“It is always important that people go out and vote, especially in these extremely difficult economic times. Sadly, in the past, economic problems have been exploited by extremists as opportunities to scapegoat minorities.”

The three churches will be launching an election pack at the end of April, which will call on local church leaders to engage positively with politicians and reject racist political activity.

Yesterday churches in West Yorkshire also launched resources for local churches to combat extremist parties.

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