Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron to allow free vote on same-sex marriage after recent opposition from backbenchers Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the UK is a Christian country "and we should not be afraid to say so".

Addressing a function to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible at the Oxford University, the prime minister has called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain's "moral collapse".

The Conservative leader said "live and let live" was used as "do what you please."

"Whether you look at the riots last summer, the financial crash and the expenses scandal, or the ongoing terrorist threat from Islamist extremists around the world, one thing is clear: moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn't going to cut it anymore," he said.

He described himself as a "committed" but only "vaguely practising" Christian. However, he admitted that he was "full of doubts" about major theological issues.

Cameron went on to defend the influence of religion in politics and stressed that the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

"Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith - or no faith - is somehow wrong," he added.

"I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion. And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger. But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today," he said.

Cameron said people often argued that "politicians shouldn't 'do God'" - a reference to a comment made by former prime minister Tony Blair's aide Alistair Campbell when the former was asked about his religion.

"If by that they mean we shouldn't try to claim a direct line to God for one particular political party, they could not be more right," the Prime Minister said.

Blair rarely spoke about his religious views. But later on he embraced Catholicism.

Cameron also said it was "easier for people to believe and practise other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity".

"Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France," he said.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who recently criticised the government for the August riots and budget cuts, was also present in the gathering. Cameron criticised Dr Williams for failing to speak "to the whole nation".

Recently the government announced that it was sending a copy of the King James Bible to every school in the country with a foreword from education minister Michael Gove.

King James Bible or the Authorized Version, which was published in 1611, is an English translation of the holy text by the Church of England.

The church began its translation work in 1604. It replaced the Bishops' Bible as the official Bible for readings in the Church of England.