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UK News

'It's appalling': Christians let down by church leaders during pandemic says mayoral candidate, Laurence Fox

Laurence Fox, one of the candidates for London Mayor, has told Premier the rights of Christians should be more vigorously defended by church leaders.

The actor, who has formed a new political party called Reclaim, says it's up to individuals whether they wear masks or sing in church.

And he says leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, have been too slow to protect freedom of worship for Christians during the pandemic:

"I'm standing to be London Mayor because it's the only bit of democracy going. Our freedoms have been so stolen and taken away from us that I think someone has to represent the side of the argument that we're all sovereign individuals and we can make our own choices. I think it's a dangerous trend that we're on at the moment."

Fox is critical of restrictions on church-going during the pandemic. On Good Friday, police shut down a church service at Balham in London for breaching Covid restrictions and he says that should never happen: 

"The only time a policeman should ever enter a church is to worship in my view, it's not a house of man, it's a House of God, it's sacred ground. I am horrified by what's happened in terms of that. And this seems to be a sort of general attack on Christianity. 

"I think the leadership of the church have been absolutely culpable in this. And Christians around the country and around Great Britain must be looking at the Archbishop of Canterbury going - 'you are actually working for the other bloke at the moment'. It is appalling. And it is not how God works. You don't need a vaccine passport to talk to God. I'm horrified by the way they've dealt with that."

Laurence Fox, whose father used to be part of an evangelical Christian network, told Premier that he has a strong personal faith.

"I don't know how you would exist in this world without one. Churches need protecting and people of faith need protecting in this very secularised society that we live in."

He went on to say that there may be a case in future for churches accommodating different preferences.

"As you get multi denominational churches and lots of different sorts of churches, if this situation arises again, you can have a singing church, you can have a mask wearing church. I think you probably need God on your side in situations like this, rather than to try and control the whole thing. If you're into the social distancing and you want to worship then there's a church that really engages with that, that is great. And if you're more into living your life and not living in fear, then there should be other churches for that."


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