Don't ignore Christian voters, PM warned

The head of Britain's largest Christian broadcaster has warned the Government that it would be ill-advised to ignore the rights of Christians.

Peter Kerridge, chief executive of Premier Christian Radio, has written to the Prime Minister reminding him that the number of regular church attenders across Britain outnumbers the combined membership of the three main political parties by nearly 10 to one.

“Politicians would do well to heed the views of Christians who are, quite clearly, more faithful to their beliefs than the dwindling numbers of party members,” said Mr Kerridge in his letter.

He said the attendance at the three main party conferences had been "embarrassingly low" this season and that the "deserted conference halls" were an accurate reflection of the declining membership of the three main parties from a total of around 1.4 million in 1991 to less than half a million in 2012.

“Perhaps politicians of all parties should reflect on these depressing figures when they consider their positions on the rights of Christians in the UK,” Mr Kerridge continued.

“Some 3.8 million Christians attend church on a regular basis – that’s nearly ten times the number of card carrying party members.

"Yet we have recently witnessed the farcical situation in Strasbourg where a British government, which claims to support religious freedom, finds itself defending UK court decisions preventing Christians from wearing crosses.”

The European Court of Human Rights heard the cases of four British Christians who were prevented from living out their faith in the workplace.

These included British Airways worker Nadia Eweida and nurse Shirley Chaplin who were both disciplined for wearing cross necklaces.

Mr Kerridge expects that the right to live according to Christian conscience will continue to be tested in the future.

He added that the Christian vote could become a deciding factor in the next election.

“Christians will not leave their faith at home when they cast their votes at the ballot box,” he said.