Britain is not only in danger of becoming "unchristian" but also "anti-Christian", the former Bishop of Rochester has warned.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was speaking at the launch of Wilberforce Publications, a new Christian publishing house seeking to equip Christians to "face the challenges of the secular world".
The bishop, who is also President of OXTRAD, said that persecution "always begins with marginalisation and discrimination in the workplace and in public life".
His comments echo his foreward to a new book from Wilberforce Publications, Christians in the Firing Line by Dr Richard Scott, in which he wrote: "We are made immediately aware of the price to be paid and the cost involved whether it is loss of employment, the threat of being struck off the registers of professional bodies or just unpopularity in the community or the media.
"… In my experience, the exclusion from employment or participation in public life, which the people in these cases have tasted, as well as discrimination because of belief, which they have also experienced, is often the beginning of persecution."
Dr Scott was disciplined by the General Medical Council for talking to a patient about his faith, and wrote the book to highlight instances of Christian employees who had been "warned, blacklisted, suspended or dismissed for refusing to compromise their biblical principles".
The second book released at the launch was Belief and the Nation, by John Scriven, in which Christian perspectives are offered on areas like globalisation, debt, family and freedom of expression.
In her foreword to the book, Christian Legal Centre chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams states: "In recent decades, we have seen significant social and economic breakdown, although the full effects of past policies may not yet be apparent. Confidence in moral knowledge has fragmented and there is a crisis of authority in politics and in our institutions.
"... Despite the challenges of public policy in a complex world, a Christian vision can transform people, communities and the nation."