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Last Updated: Monday, 9 April 2007, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Christian parties in Holyrood bid
By Colin Hutton
BBC Scotland news

poster on lamp-post
The Scottish Christian Party said its election chances were "strong"
No sex before marriage, tackling divorce rates and cutting drug abuse and obesity.

These are just some of the issues being highlighted by Christian parties hoping to return MSPs to Holyrood in the May election.

Dozens of candidates will take to the streets throughout the campaign to promote principles rooted in Christian gospel and encourage social justice, strong families and economic regeneration.

The Christian Peoples Alliance, has already made an early attack on religious policy - branding the Scottish Greens "eco-fascists" over their plans to integrate state religious schools into non-denominational education.

The Greens have argued that religious schools in a multi-faith society had no place in the state-funded system.

Christian Peoples Alliance founder Teresa Smith said her party's policies had attracted people from other faiths, including Muslims, Sikhs and Jews - and from no faith at all.

The party, which has also made reference to the so-called "erosion of marriage", has decided to field eight Scottish Parliament list candidates and one council candidate, with the aim of having at least one MSP after the election.

We believe we have a very strong chance of returning candidates in each of the eight regions - and we're gunning for them.
Rev James Hargreaves
Leader, Scottish Christian Party

Mrs Smith said: "We would like to educate parents about their rights for knowing about the sex education their children receive in schools. Not enough parents know about this basic right.

"We want to promote marriage as much as possible by promoting chastity before marriage."

The party said it also wanted to deal with divorce rates, the problem of obesity and the "ever-increasing" burden of drug abuse on Scotland's communities.

Like the Christian Peoples Alliance, the Scottish Christian Party said it hoped to replicate the political success of Christian democratic groups in other parts of Europe.

The SCP, which has decided to concentrate its campaign on Holyrood rather than seeking to make inroads in the council elections, claimed its chances were high.

Party leader, Rev James Hargreaves, said: "We believe we have a very strong chance of returning candidates in each of the eight regions - and we're gunning for them.

"Our main focus will be to raise different agendas by pushing issues close to our hearts, but for the good of all."


SEE ALSO
Parties row on faith schools plan
05 Apr 07 |  Scotland
Christian party to fight election
03 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland

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