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British politicians and church leaders concerned over nation’s moral decline

Country/Region: United Kingdom, Europe

Firefighters douse a shop and flats destroyed by arson during the initial rioting in Tottenham, London
Firefighters douse a shop and flats destroyed by arson during the initial rioting in Tottenham, London
CC BY-SA 2.0 by Alan Stanton

As Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week , tackling the "broken society" is back at the top of his agenda following the recent riots. In a speech in Oxfordshire, Mr Cameron described the disorder that spread from London to other towns and cities in England as "a wake-up call for our country".

He said that politicians had been unwilling to talk about rights and wrongs, but "moral neutrality" would not "cut it anymore", and "the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations" must be confronted.

"Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control.

Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged - sometimes even incentivised - by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally de-moralised.

Opposition leader Ed Miliband has demanded an inquiry to investigate the causes of the trouble, and said that bankers, MPs and journalists - as well as the rioters - had been greedy, selfish and immoral.

Several church leaders, including the former Bishop of Rochester, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, have had their joint statement published by the Daily Telegraph:

We write as senior church leaders whose congregations have been affected by the recent violence on our streets. What made Britain great was a sense of responsibility, of accountability to one another and, ultimately, to God. It is the loss of this moral framework that has led to the plunge into the new barbarism. We must take steps immediately to strengthen the family as a place for moral and spiritual formation where our children first learn about boundaries.

The churches are also committed to the task of supporting schools in their work of instilling the young with values derived from the timeless life-enhancing principles of the Bible.

What we instil in children today will determine in the future how they govern a nation, influence our policies and ultimately determine the quality of life in our communities.

We each make choices and decisions based on our value systems. Godlessness has only produced selfishness and greed. The well-tried Christian faith has given us hope in the past and can do so again now.

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 1 hour ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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