The Archbishop of York, has placed an advert in his local newspaper urging voters to come out against the BNP in Thursday’s local elections.
In the advert, the Church of England’s most senior black cleric Dr John Sentamu warns that if people fail to vote they will be sleepwalking into “a wall of hate”.
The advert comes after criticism that he and other bishops in the church may be playing into the hands of extremist parties, by urging the defence of Britain’s ‘Christian culture’.
Groups such as the religious thinktank Ekklesia have warned that the BNP has recently stepped up its religious rhetoric. In recent local elections, the party’s literature included copies of the controversial Mohammed cartoons
In the advert, which appears in York newspaper The Press, today, the Archbishop, says voters should beware of political parties which promise much but have policies that promote hate and division.
“Jesus warned us to be wary of wolves who come in sheep’s clothing,” the Archbishop says in the quarter-page advert. “They come with honeycombed words, promising a New England, and a land of milk and honey. In reality they offer us a diet of bile and discord, a desert of hopelessness and policies which stoke the ashes of Clifford’s Tower.”
Clifford’s Tower was Britain’s worst anti-Semitic attack, when 150 Jews were killed in York on March 16, 1190.