Anglican Leader Calls for 'Tougher Church'

LONDON – Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey says Christians are too soft and need to toughen up.

In an interview on BBC 5 Live's breakfast program this week, he said Christians needed to speak up about their beliefs.

"I think we need a tougher church," he said.

"We Christians are very often so soft that we allow other people to walk over us and we are not as tough in what we want, in expressing our beliefs, because we do not want to upset other people. We have got to be more outspoken."

Lord Carey went on to stress the importance of preserving the country's Christian heritage and democratic values.

His comments follow those of his successor, Dr. Rowan Williams, who said last month that the government treated religious believers as "oddballs." Williams, considered the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, called on politicians to be more outspoken about their religious convictions and defend faith in the public square.

Lord Carey is a member of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, which this week called for a cap on the number of migrants coming to the United Kingdom.

Speaking on BBC 4's Today program, Lord Carey stressed the group was not asking for a ban on migration but a "reasonable limit" and that the cap was not about the religion of migrants.

"What I am concerned about is not saying we must put a limit on people who are non-Christian. That's not the point, we welcome everybody," he said. "But we must call for an understanding on the part of those who come into our country that they have come into one that values parliamentary democracy, which is built upon our Christian heritage.

"They've got to understand our commitment to the English language and espouse it and they must understand our history. I wouldn't want to ban any particular group or give preference to any particular group but there's got to be a limit on numbers."

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