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Christians are urged to do their duty by voting

30 January 2015


Party leaders: David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband at the Holocause Memorial Day service at Methodist Central Hall, in London, on Tuesday 

Party leaders: David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband at the Holocause Memorial Day service at Methodist Central Hall, in London, on Tuesda...

WITH fewer than 100 days to go until the General Election in May, the Archbishop of Canterbury is calling on Christians to see voting as part of their duty to seek the common good.

In the foreword to Those Who Show Up, a new book by Andy Flannagan, director of Christians on the Left, Archbishop Welby argues that "politics is far too important to be left to politicians", and endorses Mr Flannagan's demand for Christians to engage "deeply and critically" with politics.

"Christians must be actively concerned with the pursuit of the common good and the flourishing of all in our society - be it local, national, or global. The most practical way of doing this is through the political process." Although there are valid reasons to be sceptical about politicians and Britain's democracy, Archbishop Welby says that is no excuse for apathy.

This is echoed by the charity CARE, which has launched its website, www.engaGE15.org.uk, to set out issues of concern, such as marriage, assisted suicide, and human trafficking, as well as to urge believers to vote.

New figures from a survey by the Evangelical Alliance have been published which reveal that while 80 per cent of the 2000 Evangelicals surveyed said they were certain to vote on 7 May, almost one in four had not yet decided who to vote for.

The chief executive of CARE, Nola Leach, said: "The Christian vote matters more than ever. That's why we've launched engaGE15, to equip Christians to make their vote count for this General Election. "The website also has a database of MPs' voting habits, dynamic video content, a regularly updated election blog, as well as a hustings guide and a guide to chairing a hustings."

Similarly, Church Together in Britain and Ireland has released its own election guide, "A 2020 vision of the Good Society". The resources, which are available online at www.churcheselection.org.uk, include briefings on issues such as in-equality, children and young people, and the environment, as well as information about how churches can host a hustings for their local candidates.

The Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales will publish its own guidance.

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