Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a cabinet minister in the UK and possibly the highest-ranking Muslim woman in the West, said that Europe needs to become “more confident in its Christianity.” She spoke as part of a high-level delegation of UK officials for a series of meetings with officials of the Holy See.
Warsi said: “In order to ensure faith has a proper space in the public sphere, in order to encourage social harmony, people need to feel stronger in their religious identities, more confident in their beliefs. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faith, and nations not denying their religious heritage. If you take this thought to its conclusion then the idea you’re left with is this: Europe needs to become more confident in its Christianity”.
Warsi pointed out two opponents of a robust public role for religion in today’s Europe:
First is the well-intentioned liberal elite, figures who think that the route to religious pluralism is by creating a path of faith-neutrality. In fact their version of a level playing is all but impassable to anyone of belief.
Second are anti-religionists and faith deniers, those who seek to remove all trace of religion from culture, history and public discourse.
Warsi also said that militant forms of secularism are reminiscent of the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century in their intolerance for religious belief.
She laid out her version of an antidote: 1. Holding firm in our faiths; 2 Holding back intolerance; 3. Reaffirming the religious foundations on which our societies are built and 4. reasserting the fact that Christianity in Europe has been inspiring, motivating, strengthening and improving our societies.
Christianity is as vital to our future as it is to our past, Warsi said.