EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ‘I may have faith in God, but I don’t class myself as religious’ says Peterborough MP

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New MP Fiona Onasanya is a member of iCAN Community Church in London which she describes as non-denominational.

She said: “If I had to compare it to something, at the risk of sounding offensive to people, I’d say it’s like happy-clappy. Have you seen Sister Act? Singing, dancing – that’s how church is. It’s come as you are, and God loves you as you are.

“I asked at Parliament why you have different Christian groups, why can’t you just be Christian? We’re all one race - humans. Why do we have to put labels on it?

“I say I’m not religious, I have a relationship with God, which sounds a little bit out there, but the reason I say I’m not religious is because for me, religion is about rules and regulations and trying to tell to you how to behave, whereas I see the Bible as good guidance.

“A bit like when your parents say to you ‘look both ways before you cross a road’. It’s not because they’re trying to control you, but more that they’re trying to look out for you and make sure that you don’t have an injury.”

Religion became a factor in the election with the then Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, a devout Christian, being questioned on his views on gay marriage.

Asked for her opinion on gay marriage, Ms Onasanya replied: “I believe that everyone is entitled to marry whomever they choose. For me, in my Bible anyway, Christ accepted everyone.

“If a church wishes to marry a couple, that’s up to them to do that. I don’t think, though, we can say to churches you have to marry them if you don’t agree with that. The same way I wouldn’t force a vegetarian restaurant to serve meat, because that’s their choice.”