US evangelicals hail British vote to leave EU

US evangelicals have welcomed the result of last week's European Union referendum, which saw Britain vote to leave.

The referendum has polarised opinion in the UK, with Scotland voting decisively to remain and turmoil in the UK's main political parties as they struggle to come to terms with the result. 

Franklin Graham said the vote was "historic" and quoted Vote Leave figurehead Boris Johnson as saying the result was a "glorious opportunity". He said on Facebook: "We don't know what the ‪#‎EUReferendum‬ vote means long-term, but I know that this is at least a temporary setback for the politicians in this country and around the world who want a one-world government and a one-world currency. The Bible speaks that one day this will take place. Join me in praying for all of those impacted and that Europe's leaders, as well as our leaders in the United States, will look to Almighty God for wisdom and discernment in these trying and complex times in which we live."

Interviewed by Baptist Press, the president of National Religious Broadcasters, Jerry Johnson, said that "the British have reminded us of the responsibility of self-government and the power of the people, through the ballot box, to change course when needed." He appeared to suggest the vote related to a rejection of secularism, saying: "The E.U. constitution is completely void of any reference to God – it is entirely secular," Johnson said. "The British government and culture are actually based upon Judeo-Christian principles. We should pray that British Christianity will be truly revived and used by God to bring a spiritual awakening to Great Britain. America needs this kind of awakening, too."

He appeared to link the result to fears over an influx of Muslims to Britain via the EU, saying: "Great Britain has been forced by EU policy to admit large numbers of migrants from other EU countries, which are admitting massive numbers of Muslims. A disturbing number of these immigrants are 'Sharia' supremacists or Islamists."

He drew a connection with concerns over immigration in America, a topic exploited by Donald Trump in his campaign, saying: "There is a limit to how much of this kind of mass immigration a country and culture can take before the people say 'enough is enough.' This reality is an undercurrent in America now. It is not racism or xenophobia or un-Christian, and US politicians would be wise to take note."