Church of England removes sin and the devil from new christening rite

The Church of England is trying out a new baptism service which drops all mention of the devil and sin.

Instead of asking parents and godparents to ‘reject the devil and all rebellion against God’, it asks them to make a single broad pledge to ‘reject evil’.

Among other phrases abandoned in the experimental new christening rite are those referring to ‘the deceit and corruption of evil’, ‘the sins that separate us from God and neighbour’, and a promise to ‘fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world and the devil.’

The new service has been developed, with the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, to provide a baptism service in ‘culturally appropriate and accessible language’, the Church of England said yesterday.