| Wednesday, 28 April 2004 Source: icbirmingham.co.uk
A Midland bishop has written to churchgoers in his diocese urging them to reject the BNP during June's Euro elections.
The Rt Revd Alan Smith, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, has warned parishioners in the Diocese of Lichfield that "apathy and complacency" could hand victory to the extremist party.
Bishop Smith's political message was made just days before reports that a teacher at a Solihull school plans to stand as a BNP candidate for a Euro seat.
Writing in the May edition of the diocesan magazine LINK, Bishop Smith admits that Christian leaders in Britain usually refrain from involving themselves in politics.
He writes: "However, when a political party stands for something that is contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ, then Christian leaders have an obligation to speak out.
"This happened with the Confessing Church in Germany in the 1930s, as it became clear that Nazism was an evil that had to be unmasked."
Bishop Smith finishes his letter by stating: "As we approach the elections next month, we need to confront any political agenda that is driven by fear. The British National Party's strongest allies are apathy and complacency."