Parliament Week: Celebrating Christian influence

This week has been UK Parliament Week, an annual festival designed to encourage people to engage with their political representatives.

The Christian Institute has spent over 25 years promoting Christian participation in politics. Obeying Christ’s command to love your neighbour means seeking their good in every area of life. That means good laws that will benefit our neighbours’ marriages, children and so on.

And over the years we have had the privilege of working with some wonderful Parliamentarians – men and women of integrity – with the courage to speak out on the moral issues shaping our nation. To mark Parliament Week, we want to encourage you with some of these inspiring examples.

Salt and light

Fiona Bruce, for instance, has fought tirelessly for the unborn during her Parliamentary career. In 2015, MPs rejected her attempt to make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal. However, this has not deterred her from speaking out against the abortion industry.

Or consider the witness of the DUP’s Jim Shannon, a passionate advocate for persecuted Christians around the world, as well as being one of the few MPs to oppose no-fault divorce in the UK.

Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, used his maiden speech in the House of Commons to defend Christianity. He lamented that Britain had moved away from its shared Christian heritage, and said many of today’s problems could be solved by restoring Christianity to the public square.

The late Baroness Young, known as a “formidable campaigner”, spent years championing Christian values in the House of Lords. Lady Young fought moves by her own Conservative Party to liberalise divorce laws and opposed attempts from Labour to remove a bar on the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

She was respected by political opponents and supporters alike and won awards for her parliamentary work from both The Spectator magazine and Channel 4.

Lady Cox, a patron of The Christian Institute, has been heavily involved in the campaign to protect women and girls from Sharia courts in the UK. Her work in this area has attracted widespread support in both the media and in Parliament.

Christ’s ambassadors

Christians show their love for God by seeking His glory. The Bible describes us as “Christ’s ambassadors” in a fallen world (2 Corinthians 5:20). This is the privilege and duty that falls to every believer. No matter where we go, we are representing Jesus.

Christian politicians often pay a heavy price for this. Increasingly, having the ‘wrong’ views on something like transgenderism can end your career. It takes tremendous courage to stand for what is right.

These are not easy days to be a Christian, and they are not easy days to say Christian things. However, we can be thankful for members of Parliament who are prepared to serve God as well as man.

As the country celebrates Parliament Week, let’s particularly remember these ambassadors for Christ in prayer, and pray that they will know God’s help as they continue working for His glory.