The Bishop of Shrewsbury plans to use a Christmas sermon to attack equal marriage, with a sprinkling of World War II rhetoric added in for good measure.

The Daily Mail reports Right Reverend Mark Davies will use his midnight Christmas Mass to say marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Bishop Davies believes the government’s decision to introduce equal marriage rights in England and Wales in 2013 is similar to how Hitler and Stalin tried to undermine religious freedom.

The senior Catholic will say: “Past generations have gathered in this cathedral on Christmas night amid many shadows which seemed to obscure the future for them.

“We think of the ideologies of the past century, Communism and Nazism, which in living memory threatened to shape and distort the whole future of humanity.

“These inhuman ideologies would each challenge in the name of progress the received Christian understanding of the sanctity of human life and the family. Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime prime minister, a man without clear, religious belief, saw in this deadly struggle nothing less than the defence of Christian civilisation.

The Bishop will add: “Few of our political leaders today appear to glimpse the deeper issues when the sanctity of human life and the very identity of marriage, the foundation of the family, are threatened.”

Last week, in his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI issued another attack on marriage equality and said people were manipulating their sexual orientation to alter God-given nature.