Christians called to 'think, pray and vote' ahead of European elections

A British Union flag and an European Union flag are seen flying above offices in London, Britain, March 30, 2016.(Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville)

Britain might be due to leave the European Union in a few months but Christians in the UK are being urged not to overlook the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The Methodist Church, Baptist Union, United Reformed Church and Church of Scotland have issued a joint call to Christians to 'think, pray and vote' ahead of the elections. 

The UK will head to the polls on May 23, with Brexit dominating the agenda. 

In a briefing, the Churches said that although it was "easy to be cynical" about the elections, they raise a number of questions about democracy and the role of Christians as "active and engaged citizens". 

They acknowledged that the implications of the election results were "impossible to predict" but that it was even more important that Christians get out to vote in "uncertain" times.

"As Christians, we are called to live and work for a better society, loving our neighbour and working for God's Kingdom of justice and joy. There are many ways in which we can do this. Voting in elections is one," the briefing reads.

"Through voting we recognise our responsibility to participate in the political process, to show up and make our voices heard. This responsibility is even more important in volatile and uncertain times.

"Christians will disagree in good faith about the right attitude as we approach polling day, and will vote for different parties.

"However, living in a democracy as a disciple of Jesus, we are called to engage in the political process to seek justice, transformation and the wellbeing of our neighbour." 

The briefing includes a prayer that Christians can use in the run-up to the election and links to resources to help them think through the key issues.

Rachel Lampard, leader of the Churches' Joint Public Issues group, said: "As elections go, this European election is unique. It could be that those elected may not take their seats, never mind serve a full term.

"Many may question the point of voting, however as Christians, we are called to show up and make our voices heard even when it is difficult."