BNP gains and 'Christian nation' rhetoric

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Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, which has been warning of the rise of the far right and their use of 'Christian' rhetoric for some time, says that "more than condemnation or hand-wringing distaste is required to tackle the BNP and others who seek to foster fear and anger towards particular groups in society."

"The BNP have openly been using 'Christian nation' rhetoric. Churches need to dissect and reject attempts to identify and conflate faith, race and nation, as well as combatting the mainstream drift towards blaming, targeting and scapegoating migrants.

"Inequality, pockets of serious deprivation and the growing gap between governors and governed produced by a political system in need of major reform have also built the resentment that causes some people to mistakenly vote for the BNP. 'Business as usual' is not an option now, for the churches or anyone else."

The comments come after news that the BNP has won two Euro seats and three local council seats in last week's polls across the UK.