Christians of a leftist political perspective are finding their way into top government positions in several European countries, reports the German news service Idea (Feb. 1).
Whereas in the past, European politicians on the left often were secular or excluded their religious affiliations from their public life, today’s politicians seek to combine their Christian roots with their political philosophies. Left-wing and outspokenly Christian politicians include Tony Blair of England, French President and socialist Lionel Jospin, and the Italian President of the European Commission (EC), Romano Prodi. Jospin is an active member of the Protestant Reformed Church, and is said to encourage dialogue with “critical social ethics.”
Blair is an Anglican who has close ties to the Catholic church, which may be partly explained by the leftist tendencies of British Catholicism. Prodi openly professes to be a “believing Catholic,” and, like the other officials, tries to combine democratic socialism with Christianity. The news service reports that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder may be similar to the others in his political views, but he is the most secular, even omitting the statement, “so help me God,” from his inauguration ceremony.
He is also somewhat distant from both the Protestant and Catholic churches.
(Idea, Postfach 18 20, D-35528 Wetzlar, Germany)