Britain's "hard-edged secularism" fuels religious extremism such as ISIS, a Tory cabinet minister said this evening.
Stephen Crabb, the secretary of state for Wales and a committed Christian, said the problems posed by Islamic fundamentalists could not be cured by increasing secularism which actually serves to "aid and abet" extremism.
"The answer to the seduction of ISIL is not a greater dose of secularism that delegitimises their faith in the public space," he said at the annual Conservative Christian Fellowship (CCF) lecture.
Crabb, one of the most prominent members of the CCF, said the "marginalisation of religion in our national life risks pushing more young Muslims into the arms of ISIL."
Speaking the day after the commission on religion and belief in public life was published, Crabb spoke of "hundreds of decisions" which he said had "the cumulative effect of pushing faith to the margins."
"If you push faith to the margins, then to the margins and into the shadows faith will be outworked," he said.
The Welsh secretary, who is tipped as a possible contender for Conservative leadership when David Cameron leaves, spoke about the difficulty of speaking openly about faith as a politician and criticised cinemas for banning a Church of England advert encouraging prayer.
"It is easier for a politician to admit to smoking weed or watching porn than it is to admit that they might take prayer seriously in their daily life," he said.
As well criticising secularists, Crabb also had strong words for Donald Trump and what he called the "shrill and angry Christian club which doesn't like how society is changing around them."
Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has called for a ban on Muslims entering America. The suggestion was "ignorant," Crabb told Christian Today afterwards and "communicated the worst of American values."
"No-one," said Crabb, "should be louder in their denunciation of graffiti attacks on mosques or verbal assaults on girls wearing hijabs than Christians."
However this did not mean the "watering down of religious belief" which only aims to "satisfy everyone and pleases no-one," he added.
"There is nothing to respect or admire about some watered-down common religious offering in the name of multiculturalism."
This article was orignally published in Christian Today.