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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2005, 18:41 GMT
Archbishop attacks 'PC' Christmas
Dr Rowan Williams,  Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Williams is concerned about political correctness at Christmas
Christian leaders have condemned politically correct approaches to Christmas for stifling religious expression.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said "silly bureaucrats" wanted to wipe Christian symbols from Christmas.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said it was prompted by a fear that symbols would upset people of other religions.

Former Archbishop Dr George Carey added he had concerns a minority in leadership want to privatise religion.

A week before Christmas Day, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said: "What makes some people suspicious of Christmas these days is that it's too religious.

'Undermining public expression'

"This year there seems to have been even more stories about the banning of Christian images and words by silly bureaucrats."

He compared the politically correct approach to Christmas to the 17th century Puritans who felt celebrations were not Christian enough.

"It's all because of the idea that our neighbours from other religious traditions will be offended by Christian symbols", he said.

"The truth is they're usually much happier with the idea of a Christian festival than with some general excuse to have a good time in midwinter."

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey warned against "political correctness that is creeping in and undermining the public expression of the Christian faith".

He told GMTV's Sunday Programme there is a "minority in leadership today who want to privatise religion" because of "nervousness excited by the visibility of Muslims".

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