British PM and Ex-Anglican Leader Debate Whether UK is Christian or Post-Christian

Comes Down To Defining Terms, Says Rowan Williams

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 798 hits

Britain is a 'post-Christian' country, former archbishop has said, according to the BBC.

Lord Williams, who retired from leader of the Church of England in 2012, told the Telegraph that widespread worship in Britain was a thing of the past and the UK no longer was a nation of believers. His statements soon were countered by Prime Minister David Cameron, asserting Britain as a “Christian country.”

Earlier this month in article for the Church Times, Cameron said Christians should be more evangelical about Christians making a difference in others’ lives.

Disagreeing with Cameron, 50 public figures wrote a letter asserting the UK was "non-religious" and a "plural" society. They said asserting otherwise would cause "division" and "alienation."

Lord Williams clarified that even if the UK is "post-Christian" that does not mean it’s "non-Christian," as the UK’s "cultural memory is still quite strongly Christian."

The former Anglican leader further explained it’s "post-Christian," in the sense that most of the population are not practicing Christians.

Clarifying what is meant by a "Christian nation," he said such a nation "can sound like a nation of committed believers." He continued, “we are not that, ” but added, "equally, we are not a nation of dedicated secularists."

He said it comes down to defining terms:  "A Christian country as a nation of believers? No." However, if you consider a Christian country to be one “in the sense of still being very much saturated by this vision of the world and shaped by it?” He said, “Yes."

Reverend Justin Welby, current archbishop of Canterbury, has supported the prime minister's view of the UK as a Christian country and has written that it’s a "historical fact (perhaps unwelcome to some, but true)" that British culture, law, and ethics were founded on Christian teachings and traditions. (D.C.L.)