The Bishop of Wakefield says people should show the humanity in their hearts by not voting for the BNP.
During the Easter weekend religious groups are pleading with voters to use their vote wisely at the European election in June.
The Rt Rev Stephen Platten, bishop of the Wakefield Diocese, said: “I would encourage people to vote, because my inclination is that the vast majority of people would be voting for one of the mainstream parties. But I want to say I would hope they would use their vote not just responsibly, but with the most generous view of our humanity in their hearts, so they did not appoint any party they thought was being exclusive or divisive on racial grounds.”
All of Yorkshire is represented as one constituency with six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) elected by proportional representation. There are six BNP candidates standing for the seats, including Wakefield candidate Nick Cass.
The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Rev Jonathan Greener, said: “There is an old saying that applies here, the only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. What we are trying to do is tell people to get out there and vote so that we don’t get a Yorkshire candidate with racial policies voted in.
“We don’t want those people elected just because of the apathy and laziness of people who haven’t bothered to vote. People don’t always make the effort to vote, especially in the European elections, but there will be certain enthusiasts who will. We want to encourage people to get out and off their backsides to vote.”
Other churches groups, across the district say they do not want Yorkshire represented by a racist MEP.
Clive Barrett, ecumenical officer for West Yorkshire, said: “The Christian message is of hope and unity; the BNP promote hate and division. I would urge every Christian to ‘use your cross’ and to cast your vote for one of the other parties.”
The European election takes place on Thursday, June 4.