The former Government minister said that many people no longer feel that they are able to express their faith and blamed “quite militant secularism” and equality legislation.
Ms Widdecombe converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1993.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan: “Christians now have quite a lot of problems, whether it’s that you can’t display even very discreet small symbols of your faith at work, that you can’t say ‘God bless you’, you can’t offer to pray for somebody, if it’s an even bigger stance on conscience that you’re taking, some of the equality laws can actually bring you to the attention of the police themselves.
“So I think it is a very difficult country now, unlike when I was growing up, in which to be a Christian, an active Christian at any rate.”
Ms Widdecombe said that many people were now reluctant to speak about their faith to others because “strong belief offends them”.
She said there used to be a view that “we’ve all got freedom of conscience, we’ve all got freedom of expression”.
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