| Sunday, 22 April 2007 Source: Christian Today
Christian leaders are advising people to use their vote to defeat British National Party (BNP) candidates in next week's elections, the Evangelical Alliance has told Christian Today.
They are encouraging people to use their vote so that other candidates are elected, and the BNP does not get seats through voter apathy.
"The BNP is trying to present itself as a respectable and non-racist party," an Evangelical Alliance statement comments.
Party leader Nick Griffin said in a speech last November that he wants this country to be "free, Christian and British."
But Christian leaders are urging voters not to be fooled by the BNP's attempts to make itself presentable.
Justin Thacker, Head of Public Theology at the Evangelical Alliance, said: "I don't see how any Christian could ever support the BNP – its principles are entirely at odds with those of Jesus Christ.
"The BNP is a racist party, which doesn't seem to realise the contradiction of using St George's day – which celebrates a Christian saint – to peddle its racist propaganda. This demonstrates just what a sham the party's appeal to Christian values is.
"Other parties are just as concerned about the needs of the nation, and they do not use issues of community cohesion for racist ends."
Rev Katei Kirby, Chief Executive of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, said: "The BNP may present its election message as 'Christian', but as it is based on the divisive and racist agenda inherent to that party, it is clearly out of step with the message of freedom and belonging that is central to the Christian faith.
"To halt the progress of these misleading messages and the parties that purport them, I urge Christians and those in wider society to exercise their right and vote against such parties in their local elections."
Neil Jameson, of London Citizens, said: "London Citizens fully supports the position taken by the Evangelical Alliance.
"It is our experience of 10 years of organising in East London that it's quite possible to work together for the common good across diversity without ever having to appeal to the racist card, which is played so obviously by the BNP in some of our most disadvantaged communities."