The Evangelical Alliance, one of the largest Christian organizations in the world, has expressed its opposition to a recent article in the U.K.'s The Telegraph that labeled evangelical Christians as extremists. The main crux of the article surrounds the government of Great Britain’s attitudes and policies toward the country’s faith-based schools.
Alan Judd, an advisor for the Secretary of State of Education in the United Kingdom, wrote that schools with a “religious perspective” were allowed to be created, but that some should be scrutinized for their views.
“To ban believers from setting up free schools would be to exclude a large number of able, well-meaning and experienced people who can do much to raise levels generally,” Judd said. “The trouble is, as always, when it is taken to extremes, whether it's evangelical Christians, totalitarian Muslims or segregationist Jews.”
A debate continues to rage in Great Britain following allegations by many citizens that the government has imposed too strict of guidelines when it comes to the implementation of free schools. Nearly one-third of the free schools that are being created in Great Britain are faith-based.
In a released statement, Evangelical Alliance General Director Steve Clifford took umbrage of Judd’s comments made in The Telegraph article, considering Great Britain’s evangelical Christian population.
“There are approximately 2 million evangelical Christians in the U.K., the fastest-growing part of the church worldwide,” Clifford said. “They take their faith seriously, but that does not make them extremist. To suggest it does demonstrates a woeful lack of religious understanding at the heart of government.
“Evangelical Christians are at the heart of their community. The churches that are members of the Evangelical Alliance contribute half a million hours of service a week to their communities. In fact, the more important a Christian thinks their faith is, the more likely they are to engage with the world around them. Evangelical Christians work hard to alleviate poverty, counter injustice and care for the vulnerable.”