Evangelical minister praises David Cameron for declaring Britain "Christian"

This Is Local London: Gerald Coates, team leader at Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead Gerald Coates, team leader at Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead

An evangelical minister who was at No 10 when the Prime Minister said Britain is a Christian country has praised his courage for making the controversial statement.

Gerald Coates, team leader at Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead, was among Christian leaders invited to meet Mr Cameron to celebrate Easter last week.

Mr Coates said that after some food, drink and discussions, the Prime Minister went to the microphone and said that he as a Christian, was helped greatly when his son died and he was supported by a Christian minister.

Mr Coates said: "He also made it clear that we are a Christian country, for which he was glad.

"He went on to express his thanks for the work churches are doing with food banks, youth work, debt counselling, and enhancing the life of thousands of local communities up and down the land.

"Secondly, he said he would be making his voice heard regarding the global persecution of Christians and said "We are the most persecuted religion in the world."

The pastor said he "absolutely agreed" with the Prime Minister that Christians are persecuted the world over: "We could be in a situation even in my lifetime when there are no Christians left in the Middle East as they have been hounded out."

He said Mr Cameron's speech felt "very genuine" and praised him for making such a strong religious statement, when other politicians have side-stepped the issue in the past. 

But, he added: "We are not cynics but the election is coming. 

"He knows that he has upset a major part of the Christian community by pushing through same-sex marriage without any proper discussion on it.  I don't agree with that.  I wouldn't marry two men."

Mr Coates said Mr Cameron said he wished church leaders were a lot more evangelistic, not just doing good work, but talking about it and explaining what the Gospel is, and how belief in Christ can change people. 

Mr Cameron's views have sparked national controversy in the past few days as it is a major departure from Tony Blair position as prime minister when he made clear he did not  "do God" - although, after he left office, he became a Roman Catholic.

Gerald Coates is also a broadcaster and last year co-wrote a book aimed at helping Christians who are addicted to porn called Sexual Healing - Identity, Sexuality, Calling.

Do you agree that Britain is a Christian country? Take part in the web poll currently running on www.epsomguardian.co.uk

Comments (2)

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6:11am Thu 24 Apr 14

Tommy Mato says...

A country cannot be Christian, just some of the people in it. I'm sure you could argue all day about the numbers, but so what? It doesn't affect me in the slightesr, or my next door neighbour who is a Muslim.

As for Christians being the most persecuted religion, with 26 bishops sitting in the house of Lords, I don't think so. As the man who controls how my taxes sre spent, I'd be happy if the PM concentrated on the worldly matters thst affect all citizens of all religions and no religion.

In this lively debate so far, men have talked to men, but as usual God has remained completely silent.
A country cannot be Christian, just some of the people in it. I'm sure you could argue all day about the numbers, but so what? It doesn't affect me in the slightesr, or my next door neighbour who is a Muslim. As for Christians being the most persecuted religion, with 26 bishops sitting in the house of Lords, I don't think so. As the man who controls how my taxes sre spent, I'd be happy if the PM concentrated on the worldly matters thst affect all citizens of all religions and no religion. In this lively debate so far, men have talked to men, but as usual God has remained completely silent. Tommy Mato
  • Score: 3

2:29pm Thu 24 Apr 14

fn1234 says...

It is complete nonsense to suggest that 'Britain is Christian'. Most people baptised as Christian in Britain do not go to church, read the bible or believe in God. It plays no part in their daily lives. It is all to frequently used, however, to highlight the supposed difference between 'us' and 'them', as David Cameron has done. DC is no Christian either. I believe that the 1st commandment reads 'thou shalt not kill', and yet he is deeply involved in proxy wars/conflicts (Ukraine, Syria, Lybia, and Israel against Palestinians, to name a few), as well as drone strikes (Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen), all of which kill more innocent civilians than 'militants', and seems only too eager to continue in this vane.

I am rather dismayed, therefore, that the minister could be seduced by his rhetoric and can only assume that he was overcome by the occasion and the flattery of having been invited and meeting the PM. Incidentally, there were plenty of Christians getting along quite nicely with others in Syria before DC decided to kowtow to the Americans again to create war there.

To suggest that Christians, of which I am one, are the most persecuted in the world is bile-inducing. Both DC and Tony Blair, in part through their desperation to please the USA and specialist lobby groups, have made Muslims targets all over the globe. You can see this from the level of crime committed against Muslims/mosques and how frequently anti-Muslim news stories appear on TV, radio and newspapers. When a Muslim commits a crime it's reported all over, but when Christians commit crimes (e.g. Iraq/Afghanistan) few people bat an eyelid.

Finally, if Gerald Coates disagrees with marry men (although he doesn't mention women, strangely) 'because the bible is against it', I assume also that he doesn't trim his beard/sideburns, eat pork, beef, or any seafood that does not have fins, have tattoos, wear anything made from cows, he doesn't believe in sex before marriage, divorce, the use of horoscopes, allowing disabled people to approach the altar, anyone wearing jewelry or that women have a right to physically defend their spouses if being attacked. I wonder what his view on incest is also, given that the bible doesn't say much about that (errr, who did Cain have his child with considering that the only woman in the world at the time according to the bible was his mother).
It is complete nonsense to suggest that 'Britain is Christian'. Most people baptised as Christian in Britain do not go to church, read the bible or believe in God. It plays no part in their daily lives. It is all to frequently used, however, to highlight the supposed difference between 'us' and 'them', as David Cameron has done. DC is no Christian either. I believe that the 1st commandment reads 'thou shalt not kill', and yet he is deeply involved in proxy wars/conflicts (Ukraine, Syria, Lybia, and Israel against Palestinians, to name a few), as well as drone strikes (Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen), all of which kill more innocent civilians than 'militants', and seems only too eager to continue in this vane. I am rather dismayed, therefore, that the minister could be seduced by his rhetoric and can only assume that he was overcome by the occasion and the flattery of having been invited and meeting the PM. Incidentally, there were plenty of Christians getting along quite nicely with others in Syria before DC decided to kowtow to the Americans again to create war there. To suggest that Christians, of which I am one, are the most persecuted in the world is bile-inducing. Both DC and Tony Blair, in part through their desperation to please the USA and specialist lobby groups, have made Muslims targets all over the globe. You can see this from the level of crime committed against Muslims/mosques and how frequently anti-Muslim news stories appear on TV, radio and newspapers. When a Muslim commits a crime it's reported all over, but when Christians commit crimes (e.g. Iraq/Afghanistan) few people bat an eyelid. Finally, if Gerald Coates disagrees with marry men (although he doesn't mention women, strangely) 'because the bible is against it', I assume also that he doesn't trim his beard/sideburns, eat pork, beef, or any seafood that does not have fins, have tattoos, wear anything made from cows, he doesn't believe in sex before marriage, divorce, the use of horoscopes, allowing disabled people to approach the altar, anyone wearing jewelry or that women have a right to physically defend their spouses if being attacked. I wonder what his view on incest is also, given that the bible doesn't say much about that (errr, who did Cain have his child with considering that the only woman in the world at the time according to the bible was his mother). fn1234
  • Score: 2

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