September 14, 2009

Retiring bishop warns of moral crisis

by Sara Levy

Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali held his final service this week as he steps down from the role to focus on helping Christians who are persecuted in Muslim countries.

The Rt Rev Nazir-Ali retires from a role he was appointed to in 1994 as the Church of England’s first non-white diocesan bishop.

The bishop, who was criticised las year for saying that some areas of Britain have become no-go areas for non-Muslims, said he wants to start helping persecuted Christians in a “focused way”.

“For some time, leaders in churches that are under pressure where Christians are being persecuted, or where the churches are experiencing difficulties, have been asking me to help them in their development of leadership,” he said in his farewell sermon.

“I’ve been doing bits and pieces with them, but I have begun to feel that this needs to be done in a focused way.”

He also said the Britain is going through a moral crisis, fuelled by the breakdown of the family.

“We need to get away from the constant making of moral decisions by opinion poll,” he said.

“We are facing a crisis about affirming the dignity of human purpose.

“It is obvious to many people that the weakening of family life is responsible for what we face on our streets, in our classrooms and in homes.

“It would be irresponsible for a Christian leader not to point this out.”

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