Bid to ban Nativity decried

The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised "the weary annual attempts" in Britain to ban Nativity plays and carol-singing.

Dr Rowan Williams described Christmas as "one of the great European exports" and said that people of other religions "love" the Nativity story.

His remarks come just days after his predecessor, Lord Carey, condemned the attempt to "airbrush" the Christian faith "out of the picture" at Christmas.

Dr Williams wrote in the Radio Times: "The weary annual attempts by right-thinking people in Britain to ban or discourage Nativity plays or public carol-singing out of sensitivity to the supposed tender consciences of other religions fail to notice that most people of other religions and cultures both love the story and respect the message."