The public nature of Islam has stirred a deep down unresolved anger in Christianity in Australia, one of the nation's leading theologians has claimed.

Former National Council of Churches president Reverend Professor James Haire said the widespread arrival of Islam, expressed publicly in a way of dress and lifestyle, had aroused frustration among some Christians used to their faith being marginalised to a private experience.

"There is this deep down unresolved anger within Christianity, which says if we can't be public you can't be either – these are the seeds of violence," he said.

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