British Prime Minister Theresa May, during her Easter message, talked about religious freedom and said people should be able to freely talk about their faith, including their faith in Jesus Christ.
Ms. May urged everyone to uphold the country’s “strong tradition” of “religious tolerance and freedom of speech.”
“We must continue to ensure that people feel able to speak about their faith, and that absolutely includes their faith in Christ,” the prime minister said. “We must be mindful of Christians and religious minorities around the world who do not enjoy these same freedoms, but who practise their religion in secret and often in fear.”
She also said the people should be “confident” about Christianity’s role in the country.
Likewise, Ms. May encouraged the people to fight for the right of others to practice their religion.
“And we must do more to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practice their beliefs openly and in peace and safety,” she said.
Focusing her message on the people’s “shared values,” the prime minister said that, after a season of contention during which the people chose the next step for the country, there is an emerging sense of unity and of “coming together.” She emphasized the need to unite as the country faces new opportunities brought about by its decision to leave the European Union.
“For at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future,” she said.
“This Easter I think of those values that we share – values that I learnt in my own childhood, growing up in a vicarage. Values of compassion, community, citizenship. The sense of obligation we have to one another,” she added.
Journalist Alastair Campbell, editor-at-large of the New European, criticized Ms. May’s message and said the prime minister should be careful about merging her faith with her politics.
“I think even vicars’ daughters should be a little wary of allying their politics to their faith,” he said. “If she really thinks she is leading a united country full of hope … I suggest she gets out more.”
Ms. May is not the only one who delivered an Easter message with a focus on Christianity. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called on everyone to embrace principles “at the heart of Christianity” in addressing the world’s problems, which should be dealt with “through action and support for social justice, peace and reconciliation.”
“Those principles are at the heart of Christianity,” Corbyn said. “And Christians throughout the world will this weekend be remembering Jesus’s example of love and sacrifice, and the Easter message of redemption and peace.”