Christianity in Great Britain is imploding, fragmenting and will soon be driven underground, says a senior adviser to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Jayne Ozanne told Williams and Archbishop of York David Hope that a time of great persecution for the church is coming, reports the Times of London.

In a private report to the pair, Ozanne warned the outlook for the church was not good – that it would continue to implode and self-destruct over homosexual clergy and other issues. She says that its future will be one of an underground movement comparable to resistance movements during World War II.

“I remain convinced that the only way for the Church to survive the storms that are currently besetting it is to embrace the hard truth with honesty and humility,” wrote Ozanne. “Questioning whether Church leaders really believe any more in a God who can move mountains or in a God who can raise the dead, she warns that the Church seems to have forgotten how to meet the cost of being Christian.”

She continued: “Sacrificial giving is not a concept that we in the West have either embraced or understood. We are too comfortable and, as a result, too compromised. I see a time of great persecution coming, which will drive Christianity all but underground in the West. I believe that this will primarily take the form of a social and economic persecution, where Christians will be ridiculed for their faith and pressurized into making it a purely private matter.”

While the established Church will self-destruct, “fragmenting into various divisions over a range of internal issues”, she predicts that a new “Church in England” will take root, consisting of non-denominational cell groups throughout the country.

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