In the wake of the UK voting to leave the European Union, Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, has commented:
“While the UK has voted to leave the EU, the vote has exposed deep disagreement across our nations, cities and regions. The UK is not united.
“We have entered a time of enormous uncertainty, not only as we renegotiate our relationship with our European neighbours, but also as the governing Conservative party begin the process of selecting our next prime minister.
“This has to be a time to pray.
“As we look to the future the priority must be building unity and modelling reconciliation. We have taken a significant decision and in the coming years many more will need to be taken.
“Although we have chosen to leave the EU we remain part of Europe and need to remember our responsibilities to support and care for our neighbours. In the months and years to come we have to model with generosity what a difference love and friendship can make.
“As Christians we follow the Prince of Peace, and we are called to be peacemakers. This has been a bruising campaign and now is the time to take our political passions and channel them to practical action.
“The vote was the demonstration of the political freedom we enjoy, but it also exposed the fragility of our democracy. We saw participation at levels not seen for decades, but we also saw cynicalcampaigning and honesty marginalised for political gain. Our energies must now be directed towards building bridges within and between communities across the UK.
“We follow a redeemer who reconciles, and we are called to the ongoing work of reconciliation. In our churches and in our neighbourhoods we live and work alongside some who will be celebrating and others who will be disappointed. Reconciliation requires honesty and hard work, it requires that we show respect and openness to those who we disagree with. We cannot ignore the differences that this vote has exposed, but we cannot let the differences define us. Our hands of friendship must do the work that voting cannot.
“We have confidence in God who holds the nations in His hands, who is the creator of all things. We have confidence that though the pundits and pollsters may be flummoxed, God is not fazed.
“Today I am praying for the UK, I am praying for the European Union, and I am praying for Europe. I am also praying for David Cameron and his family and the Conservative party as it begins the process of selecting its next leader and the country’s prime minister. I’m praying for wisdom for our leaders as they navigate the uncertain waters that lie ahead. I am praying for comfort for those disappointed in the outcome, and I pray that we renew our commitment to work together for the good of all.”
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We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, more than 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of i individual members. And we’re not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org