This story was updated on 10 November.

The leader of a Christian political party has used his monthly column in a religious newspaper to tell readers the time for “appeasement, fear and cowering” in the face of the gay rights movement is over, and that they should “rise up” and “forcefully confront” the ambitions of the movement’s “leaders”.

Alan Craig’s comments were published in the Church of England Newspaper and reprinted on his personal blog, Alan’s Angle, entitled “Confronting the Gaystapo”.

The former London mayoral candidate begins by comparing recent gay rights advances to the political battles won by the Nazi movement before the outbreak of World War 2.

The current Prime Minister’s support for gay marriage is likened to the 1938 Munich Agreement, where Neville Chamberlain attempted to appease Hitler by allowing Germany to annex the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia.

He refers to the “unsated” ambitions of the “Gaystapo”.

He quotes the book of Ecclesiastes: “Someone once said, ‘There is a time for silence and a time to speak… a time for peace and a time for war’”.

Gay marriage, as well as being the annexation of the Sudetenland in his metaphor: “could be the invasion of Poland, the catalyst for war and a cultural fight-back”.

The “Gaystapo”, he continues: “want to change our language, manipulate our culture and thereby impose their world-view on us all. Cultural domination is their aim and fascist-type intolerance of politically-incorrect dissent is their weapon.”

He concludes: “For Christians, the season of appeasement, fear and cowering in the corner is over. ‘Whom shall I send,’ said the Lord, ‘and who will go for us?’

“Now is the time for people of courage to rise up and defend marriage, our children and the very foundations of our civilisation.”

At the time of publication, Alan Craig, who was a councillor for the London Borough of Newham from 2002 to 2010, had not responded to our request for comment.

PinkNews.co.uk has also been unable to reach the Church of England Newspaper, who published the original article.

The Christian Peoples Alliance responded to voice mails with a message directing PinkNews.co.uk to Alan Craig personally.

The Church of England said this morning they were not affiliated with the newspaper or able to comment on on its output, as the newspaper provides independent religious news.

Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall said: “Given the horrific circumstances of the Holocaust, it is deeply disturbing and highly offensive that the Church of England Newspaper has chosen to compare supporters of equality with Nazis.

“We are sure that many of the paper’s advertisers, such as the University of Sheffield, will be deeply disturbed to read this crass and homophobic article.”

The Church of England Newspaper describes itself as the “most quoted church newspaper in Fleet Street and in recent years” and “the prime source for news in the Anglican world”.

It claims to be the “original church newspaper” and one of the oldest newspapers in the world, being founded in 1828.

Catering for an evangelical audience, it sells around 8,000 copies a week, to the more popular Church Times, which sells 29,000.

Alan Craig has been the leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance since 2004. The party has no MPs but has won several local council elections.

Update: The University of Sheffield requested the advertisement mentioned in this article be removed from the Church of England Newspaper’s website on 9 November.

In a statement the University said it “has no affiliation with the Church of England newspaper and does not endorse or condone the publication’s content or opinions”.

“The University is strongly committed to equality and diversity and is proud to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion. We are therefore very disappointed that our advertisement promoting our Biblical Studies course has been associated with a negative article about gay rights.”