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Archbishops focus on faith and politics in new letter

Sat 06 May 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York highlighted the role faith plays in politics.

Justin Welby and John Sentamu recently sent a three-page pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England.

The letter encourages voters to remember Britain’s Christian values and be concerned for future generation,s as they make their decisions.

It urges people to set aside "apathy and cynicism" and draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of "love, trust and hope".

Rev Peter Ould told Premier he's glad the letter is non-partisan and calls it a "Jesus-soaked piece".

He said: “I think what’s especially attractive about it they are helping Christians to engage in Christian manner with big changes that are going to happen in the next five to ten years.

“It’s helping us to think through what it means to be a Christian in a country where we have refugee issues to deal with, where the political landscape is going to change, where there are issues brought to the front because of austerity”.

The letter also calls for space for faith in political debates and says politicians must be free to speak openly about their own beliefs and convictions and treated fairly for doing so.

Justin Welby and John Sentamu also asked Christians to pray for those standing for office and recognise the personal burdens carried by those in political life and by their families.

Ould agreed that Christians should be front and centre in the upcoming election.

He said: “It behoves Christians of all political stripes and persuasion to get out there and to vote.

“If you want to be involved in the political process, go and stand as a candidate, work for one for one of the parties, deliver your leaflets, wear your rosette, argue what you think is good for the country.”

The letter will be shared in churches from Sunday onward.

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