The Chief Rabbi today welcomed the Prime Minister’s divisive  comments about the position of Christianity in British society, triggered by his decision to speak out about his religious views.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis pictured with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis pictured with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

David Cameron was criticised for saying “we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country” and “more evangelical” about faith in a Church Times article.

Ephraim Mirvis said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s comments on religion in our country and admire his openness to discuss his personal faith in the public square.

“The United Kingdom has been positively shaped by a strong Christian tradition which plays an important part in the lives of millions of people across the country. With many parts of the world embroiled in religious tension, the UK is a beacon of light to other nations, enriched by the cooperation of those of different faiths and no faith. In this context, Judaism continues to thrive in the United Kingdom.

Cameron also warned that people who “advocate some sort of secular neutrality fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality, or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code”.

He provoked a response from more than 50 leading public figures, organised by the British Humanist Association, warning Cameron risked sowing “alienation and division” in society.