Thomas McKenzie
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Anglican Priest Attacked in London

From the UPI

LONDON, March 17 (UPI) -- An Anglican priest in London was attacked by a group of young South Asians while being verbally blasted for his Christian faith, a report said.

Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, who was attacked while wearing his clerical collar, is expected to be able to leave the hospital within a few days after being attacked nearly two weeks ago, The Times of London reported.

Ainsworth's March 5 attack reportedly is part of a growing number of attacks on Christian clergy.

Ex-police officer Nick Tolson said the harassment is usually from young South Asian males "often, but not exclusively, Muslim."

"I have heard that this church is an island in the middle of a Muslim community. But you don't expect this sort of attack to happen -- you don't expect Muslims to be attacked either," said Thomas Beckett, 50.

Scotland Yard reportedly claimed that reports of religion-based crimes based have dropped to 417, a 50 percent decrease between 2005-06 and 2006-07.