In a radio interview with Premier Christian Radio on 3rd March, Nick Clegg talked frankly about his views on faith.
He admitted to having a complex attitude to faith, although spoke of the many members of his family who were Christians, including his paternal grandmother, who had been a devout member of the Russian Orthodox church, his mother, who converted to Catholicism later on in life, his brother, a devout Anglican, and his wife Miriam, also a Catholic. Nick said he went to Mass regularly with Miriam and the children, who are being brought up in the Catholic faith, which “was a great joy.”
In February 2015 a survey was published by the Evangelical Alliance, looking at the key issues of importance to evangelical Christians. The Alliance surveyed over 2000 evangelical Christians, asking questions about their political views and voting intentions.
The survey found that poverty was the main concern for Lib Dems Christians. When Liberal Democrat supporters were asked in more detail about their policy priorities, the top five issues that emerged were:
- Helping the poorest: 74%
- Ensuring religious liberty: 64%
- Eliminating human trafficking: 53%
- Protecting 0.7% international development aid: 51%
- Introducing the living wage: 50%
Stephen Lloyd, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, has provided a Lib Dem response to the report, 2020 Vision of the Good Society, published by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Church Action on Poverty in February 2015.
This week Vice President of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, Andrew Stunell MP, welcomed Archbishop John Sentamu's new book, On Rock or Sand?
Speaking to the Church of England Newspaper, Stunell stated:
"Growing inequality, not just in Britain but worldwide, is one of the major challenges for our generation. Archbishop Sentamu's book offers a timely and prophetic word to the nation. The foundations of our economic and political systems need to be realigned, and we must all be prepared to make changes in our politics and in our lives for this to happen."
This week the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, as part of Christians in Politics, launched our Show Up campaign. This campaign is the first of it's kind and it aims to encourage Christians to positively engage in politics in the run up to this year's election and beyond - to stop watching from the sidelines, show up and get involved.
In Deputy Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Nick Clegg affirmed his strong support for the active advisory group on international freedom of religion or belief.
He said, "I am sure everybody is shocked not only by the news but by the litany of abuse, persecution and violence that is inflicted on Christians and all religious denominations that are persecuted minorities around the world."
The Deputy Prime Minister described some actions that the Government is taking to try to counter this, including bilateral engagement and working with partners in international organisations, funding projects, and providing religious literacy training for FCO staff.