08 June 2009

Churches concerned as BNP makes election gains

Disappointment and concern have been expressed by Christians following gains made by the British National Party (BNP) in last week's European Parliament Elections.

In elections held last Thursday, the BNP won two seats in the European Parliament and three seats in local councils around the UK.

Rachel Lampard, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church, said, "The limited success of the BNP does not change our steadfast message: God loves all. Racism is a sin. The campaigning work of the churches and other grass-roots organisations has helped to highlight the need for people to vote positively, especially at a time when public confidence in politics has been shaken."

Many commentators predicted success for the BNP due to low voter turnout and the political scandals of recent weeks. However, the gains were nowhere near as great as the BNP themselves predicted.

Revd Graham Sparkes, Head of Faith and Unity for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, added; "It's deeply disappointing that we now have a racist party representing Britain in Europe for the next five years and it is vital that our remaining UK representatives dedicate themselves to promote the common good."

Secretary for Church and Society for the United Reformed Church, Frank Kantor, said; "We must never become comfortable with the BNP using their position to promote their racist policies. We will continue to counter their messages of hatred and fear."

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