David Cameron Uses Christmas Message to Emphasize Britain Is 'Christian Country' Which Has Flourished Due to Biblical Values

( [email protected] ) Dec 24, 2015 12:44 PM EST
During this year's Christmas message, British Prime Minister David Cameron emphasized that the U.K. is a "Christian country" which has flourished due to its Christian values despite growing secularization.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gestures during a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 18, 2015. Reuters

During this year's Christmas message, British Prime Minister David Cameron emphasized that the U.K. is a "Christian country" which has flourished due to its Christian values despite growing secularization.

"[W]e celebrate the birth of God's only son, Jesus Christ - the Prince of Peace. As a Christian country, we must remember what his birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope," the PM wrote in the message, which was shared on his personal Facebook page.

"I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none," Cameron continued.

He also encouraged those celebrating the holiday with loved ones to take a moment to "think of those who cannot do the same," such as the thousands of Christians and other minorities driven from of their homes by the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

"If there is one thing people want at Christmas, it's the security of having their family around them and a home that is safe. But not everyone has that. Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh and [Syrian President Hafez] Assad," Cameron said.

The PM concluded by acknowledging doctors, nurses and volunteers who sacrifice their holidays to care for ill. He also thanked military service personnel who are "targeting the terrorists" and defending Britain.

"It is because they face danger that we have peace," he wrote. "Let's give thanks to those who are helping the vulnerable at home and protecting our freedoms abroad. And let me wish everyone in Britain and around the world a very happy and peaceful Christmas."

Another prominent British figure, Queen Elizabeth II, will also reportedly use her Christmas message to focus on the continuing role of Christianity in British life and amid the continued persecution of believers worldwide.

As reported by the Gospel Herald, an insider told the Mail on Sunday: "Over the years we've seen a greater emphasis on the Queen's faith, and we're certain to see it in this year's Christmas broadcast. There's a fundamental optimism which, to an extent, is driven by her faith in contrast to the overall gloom. She is driven by a deep and spirited faith."

The former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, praised the move, stating, "The Queen was very aware of the need to express her faith clearly while also respecting other beliefs," he said. "There is pressure for the next Coronation to be multi-faith or no faith. My understanding is that it will actually be a Christian event, but obviously the Queen would want to reinforce that."

He also applauded the monarch's dedication to discussing her Christianity at a time when Christians worldwide are facing persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists.

"Clearly extremism is a backdrop to anything that any public figures says at this time," he said. "If people in this country gave greater heed to what the Queen says about the importance of Christianity in our personal as well as our national life, then we would be in a better place to confront it."

Last year, 7.8 million viewers tuned in to the Christmas broadcast in the UK alone. This year's Christmas message will air at 3 pm on Christmas day on BBC 1 and ITV.