David Cameron: 'We should stand up against persecution of Christians'

David Cameron addresses the room of Christian leaders in his Downing Street office last night.No 10 Downing Street

David Cameron has spoken out more candidly than ever before about his Christian faith during the fourth annual Easter reception in Downing Street last night.

Speaking in front of church leaders from all traditions, including Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Prime Minister said he finds his "moments of greatest peace" when he attends the sung Eucharist at St Mary Abbots in Kensington every other Thursday.

Cameron has been more vocal than many of his recent predecessors, although he remains somewhat coy about discussing his faith.  During a Q&A session last year he said he was a Christian and "an active member of the Church of England".

Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church attended the event.No 10 Downing Street

"I've always felt the strength of the Christian faith is the basic core of moral guidance," he added. "You can find moral guidance from other sources but it's not a bad handbook."

Yesterday evening Mr Cameron went further in these claims, referring to Jesus as "our Saviour" and even attributing to Christ the Big Society initiative to empower local communities.

"Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago. I just want to see more of it," he declared, praising the church for its voluntary work and pledging his continued support. "If there are things that are stopping you from doing more, think of me as a giant Dyno-Rod," he said.

It's been a pressured week for the Prime Minister amidst the controversy over Conservative MP Maria Miller's expenses scandal and her subsequent decision to resign just yesterday morning, but he was still able to make a light-hearted joke.

Representatives of the Church of Scotland were also in attendance. From l-r, David Cameron with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Lorna Hood and Moderator Designate/Principal Clerk of the Church of Scotland the Reverend John Chalmers

"The Bible tells us to bear one another's burdens. After the day I've had, I'm definitely looking for volunteers," he said.

Mr Cameron reminded his audience of those living in fear of persecution for their beliefs, and called for greater religious freedom around the world.

"It is the case that Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world," he said.

"We should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can."