The Christian Institute

News Release

The Christian Institute launches Election Briefing 2015

Christian vote crucial to deciding General Election outcome

DOWNLOAD Election Briefing 2015

Visit http://www.christian.org.uk/election/

The Christian Institute has called for political parties to re-engage with the UK’s millions of Christians as the charity launches its Election Briefing 2015, an essential guide to the General Election.

Election Briefing 2015 is the only in-depth analysis of party policies on key issues for Christians as they consider how to vote on 7 May. It provides clear and concise insight into key subjects including freedom of speech, religious liberty, marriage and the sanctity of life.

It is available online today at http://www.christian.org.uk/election with 50,000 copies of the 52-page document also being dispatched to churches and households across Britain.

With the average number of churchgoers in a constituency (8,307[1]) in line with the average MP’s majority (8,319[2]) the group says Christians have a real opportunity to make their voices heard.

The Christian Institute, with its dedicated team of seven researchers has the resources and expertise to uncover where politicians stand on issues that matter. The briefing has 357 separate references. Looking beyond the political spin, it uses a biblical perspective to highlight what the parties have actually said and done in the last Parliament.

Back in 2010, the Election Briefing was used by over 70,000 people but with the Institute’s social media reach now regularly between 250,000 and 500,000 a week it is expected to be even more popular this time.

Before the last election The Christian Institute identified the introduction of same-sex marriage, restrictions on free speech and attempts to remove protections for the unborn and vulnerable elderly people as the likely areas of new legislation to threaten important Christian principles. Sadly this proved to be correct.

The last Parliament redefined marriage to include same-sex couples and saw the biggest liberalisation of abortion law since 1967 when the requirement for a doctor to see women seeking an abortion was ended. Attempts were also made to restrict free speech and legalise assisted suicide.

In Election Briefing 2015 threats to religious freedom and freedom of speech take centre stage.

Colin Hart, The Christian Institute’s Director, said: “As Christians we must challenge those seeking our vote, those who want to run the country, and make sure they understand our concerns – whether it’s standing up for persecuted Christian minorities overseas, helping vulnerable people in the UK, or defending our right to preach the Gospel. This is why we’ve put together this detailed resource for the millions of Christians in the UK.”

“When just a few thousand votes could determine the outcome of the General Election in less than three weeks’ time, all the political parties should be listening to Christian voters.

“In England the Government’s push for ‘British values’ in schools has been used by Ofsted to undermine schools with a religious ethos. In Scotland the introduction of a state-appointed ‘named person’ for every child – regardless of any need – has been widely seen to undermine parental rights. And across the United Kingdom there is widespread concern that equality laws are being used to sideline Christians like the Ashers bakers in Northern Ireland.

“But none of the main parties are talking about these issues, and both the current Government and its predecessor have a track record of antagonising Christians. They need to end this war on those with traditional beliefs and re-engage with the millions of Christians in the UK who are now asking how to, and even if they should, vote in this Election.

“We know that Christians up and down the country are confused about where politicians stand on the issues they care about. They are concerned about many of the policies and statements they’ve heard from our politicians – of all colours – over recent years.

“But I would still urge them to vote and play an active part in the General Election. The state is a means of God’s ‘common grace’ and will act on God’s behalf for all people – not just Christians. In casting a vote we are choosing those who rule us, so there is a sense in which electors are ‘part Caesar’. It’s an important role we all have.

“Election Briefing 2015 doesn’t try to predict the result; instead it tells Christians what parties actually think about issues that matter.”

Copies of Election Briefing 2015 are available from http://www.christian.org.uk/election, or can be ordered from The Christian Institute on 0191 281 5664 or at info@http://www.christian.org.uk.

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[1] Source: Brierly Consultancy, UK Church Statistics

[2] Source: Parliament.uk