A fearless voice for the LordBishop Michael Nazir-Ali knows what it is like to live under oppressed Sharia law in an Islamic country, being born in Pakistan within a Muslim family. When his father became a Christian, at age 15 Michael too professed a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Today, in Pakistan, such a father and son would be judged for "apostasy" - punishable under Sharia law by death.
Michael became an Anglican minister in Pakistan, and later, bishop of the Raiwind diocese south of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab region. In 1986, he was forced to flee after partial Sharia law was enforced in his homeland. He found refuge in England and was later appointed Bishop of Rochester in Kent under the Anglican church. In 2002, he was one of just two respected bishops whose names were submitted to the Prime Minister for the position of Archbishop of Canterbury - the highest position within the Church of England. However, Tony Blair chose Rowan Williams.
Dr Nazir-Ali remains an Anglican bishop, but has stepped down from leading the Rochester diocese to devote more time to ministry in the wider church around the world, including helping persecuted Christian minorities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
He is among the few Christian leaders in the UK prepared to "tell it straight" on controversial issues of today, such as the rise of aggressive atheism and radical Islam, and certainly has the authority to do so.
Bishop Nazir-Ali is interviewed by the BBC.