Simon Calvert, Deputy Director, The Christian Institute: Following Thursday’s General Election, the Conservatives are the largest party, but did not win a majority.
Theresa May is forming a minority Conservative Government with informal support from the Democratic Unionist Party.
The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2 to pray for “all those in authority”.
…all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
When the Apostle Paul wrote those words, the person in charge was the infamous Emperor Nero.
Paul tells us to pray this so that we would be allowed the freedom to live godly lives and have liberty to share the gospel.
Jeremiah 29 also teaches us that it is right to seek the welfare of whichever country we live in, however good or bad we think it is.
As Christians from across the UK pray for our Government and our new MPs, we should ask God that they would act courageously and with integrity.
We live in troubling times. Our prayers continue to be with the families of the victims of the recent terrorist attacks and all those affected.
The Government and Parliament have a difficult job ahead. There is no doubt that Islamist terrorism poses a very serious threat.
We strongly support efforts to combat terrorism and the ideologies which underpin it, but it is vital that the political response is focussed on the cause of these attacks – Islamism – and that Christian freedoms and the civil liberties of innocent citizens are not jeopardised.
The Government before the election was considering introducing an ‘Equality Oath’ that doctors, teachers and other public office holders would be forced to swear, pledging to uphold ‘British values’.
But forcing people to sign up to a particular Government’s view of equality would be dangerous and illiberal.
We spoke out against the proposal and sections of the press warned that it would deny the right to dissent.
Ofsted in churches
There have also been calls for Ofsted to inspect out-of-school settings such as church youth groups.
This would be a draconian system. Breaches could lead to groups being closed down or individuals being banned from working with children.
We are concerned that these misguided responses to Islamist extremism threaten to take away vital freedoms from law-abiding people, and seriously undermine the religious liberty of Christians.
‘Peaceful and quiet lives’
So in the wake of the General Election, Christians need to contact their new MPs and urge them not to sweep away the historic freedoms this country was built on.
In the weeks ahead let’s do as the Bible says and pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”.