An Egyptian-born writer who was baptised by Pope Benedict XVI last Easter after converting to Christianity from Islam has announced that he has founded a political party to "defend Christian Europe" which would field candidates in next June's European elections.

Magdi Cristiano Allam, 56, said the party, "Protagonists for a Christian Europe", would work to defend Europe's Christian values, which were threatened by secularism and moral relativism to the point where Europe risked "committing suicide". The party would be open to people of all faiths.

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