The British government's "deep religious illiteracy" is failing society as it discriminates against Christian churches and favors other faiths, including Islam, the Church of England fires off in its strongest attack on the government in decades.

The policies of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have helped to generate a spiritual, civic and economic crisis, according to a report commissioned for the Church of England and to be published on Monday. It calls for the appointment of a "minister for religion" to be the prime minister’s personal "faith envoy" and who would recognize the contribution of faith communities to Britain across every government department.

The 180-page report describes the government as moral but lacking a "compass" and reflects an attempt by the church to carve out an effective role for itself in the 21st century as a provider of welfare for young and old.

The report was commissioned by the bishop of Hulme, the Rev. Stephen Lowe, Bishop for Urban Life and Health, with the support of the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu.

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