Britons of all faiths should join together to stand up for the Christian values that have made the country what it is today, David Cameron said in his Easter message.
In the wake of the Brussels atrocities the Prime Minister said defending the British way of life was the best way to defeat the “pernicious ideology” behind Islamic terrorism.
Mr Cameron said the UK should be “proud” of being a “Christian country” but its values speak to all Britons “of every faith and none”.
Referring to the massacre in the Belgian capital, Mr Cameron said “when terrorists try to destroy our way of life as they have tried to do again so despicably in Brussels this week - we must stand together and show that we will never be cowed by terror”.
“We must defeat the pernicious ideology that is the root cause of this terrorism by standing up proudly for our values and our way of life.
“So this Easter as we pray for the friends and families of all those who lost loved ones in Brussels let us also draw hope and inspiration from the values we share and from all those who - inspired by those values - seek to help others in our country and around the world.”
He praised the work done by Christian voluntary groups, in an echo of his “Big Society” agenda.
“The message of Easter is a message of hope for millions of Christians in our country and all around the world,” he said.
“We see that hope every day in the many faith-inspired projects that help the homeless, that get people into work, that help keep families together and offer loving homes to children who need them.
“We see it in the compassion of church leaders and volunteers who visit our hospitals, care homes and hospices - and those who comfort the bereaved.
“And we see that hope in the aid workers and volunteers who so often risk their own lives to save the lives of others in war-torn regions across the world.
“And at the heart of all these acts of kindness and courage is a set of values and beliefs that have helped to make our country what it is today.
“Values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion and pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and to our communities.”
The Prime Minister has been criticised in the past for stoking “alienation and division” by referring to the UK as a “Christian country”, but he used his Easter video message to reassert his message.
The “values we treasure” are “Christian values and they should give us the confidence to say yes, we are a Christian country and we are proud of it”, he said.
“But they are also values that speak to everyone in Britain - to people of every faith and none.
“And we must all stand together and defend them.
“When we see Christians today in 2016 being persecuted for their beliefs - we must speak out and stand with those who bravely practise their faith.”