Magdi Cristiano Allam, an Egyptian-born Italian citizen, said his Protagonists for Christian Europe party would defend Christian values, which he believes are being threatened by secularism and relativism, the Associated Press reported. Despite its mission, the party would be open to people of all faiths and would enter candidates in European Union elections next year.
A well-known writer and commentator, Allam, 56, has become a vocal critic of radical Islam and a fervent supporter of Israel since his conversion. His criticism of his former faith has provoked death threats from radical Islamic groups.
Allam credits Pope Benedict XVI with his decision to become Catholic and said the pope baptized him to support religious freedom. The baptismal was held in St. Peter’s Basilica during an Easter vigil.