Former Watergate Figure Warns of Militant Islam and Atheism

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Watergate figure Chuck Colson warned a gathering of Southern Baptist pastors in San Antonio against what he described as two dire threats: the deadly marriage of Islam and fascism, and a new, militant atheism growing in popularity in the West.

Colson is a former so-called "hatchet man" of the Nixon administration who became a born-again Christian and founded an evangelical ministry to prisoners.

He called on Christians to do a better job of explaining their religion's worldview.

He was speaking at a conference that precedes the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which begins tomorrow in San Antonio.

Colson was the White House counsel for President Nixon. He pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal. He started Prison Fellowship in 1976.

Southern Baptists form the nation's largest Protestant denomination, with 16.3 million members.