Church of Eng­land seeks har­mony with EU ref­er­en­dum prayer

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON—The Church of Eng­land waded into Bri­tain’s in­creas­ingly bad-tem­pered Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship ref­er­en­dum late Tues­day by is­su­ing a prayer for use ahead of the June 23 vote.

“God of truth, give us grace to de­bate the is­sues in this ref­er­en­dum with hon­esty and open­ness,” the prayer opens.

“Give gen­eros­ity to those who seek to form opin­ion and dis­cern­ment to those who vote”.

The ten-line prayer was re­leased by the church four days af­ter US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama spoke in Lon­don urg­ing Bri­tain to re­main in the EU.

Obama’s in­ter­ven­tion has ex­ac­er­bated ten­sions be­tween the “Re­main” camp, led by Prime

RYOSSI MEKELBERG Min­is­ter David Cameron, and the “Leave” camp, whose dom­i­nant fig­ure is Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son.

Some 54 per­cent of vot­ers are on course to vote “Re­main” while 46 per­cent will back “Leave”, ac­cord­ing to an ag­gre­gate of the six most re­cent opin­ion polls by aca­demics at the What UK Thinks project.

The Church of Eng­land has not taken a po­si­tion on how peo­ple should vote in the ref­er­en­dum.

Al­though un­der a mil­lion peo­ple out of a 53 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion at­tend Church of Eng­land ser­vices each week, the church has a deep pres­ence in English so­ci­ety, with churches in most towns and vil­lages. —Agen­cies EFERENDUM fever is en­gulf­ing the Bri­tish po­lit­i­cal sys tem. In less than two months Bri­tish cit­i­zens will have a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity to an­swer a simple ques­tion: Should the United King­dom re­main a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union or leave the Euro­pean Union?

Public opin­ion polls are too close to call, hence pro­vid­ing an extra im­pe­tus to both the leave and re­main camps not to ease off their cam­paigns, mainly tar­get­ing those who are still un­de­cided. The fi­nal de­ci­sion whether to stay or leave re­mains en­tirely in the hands of Bri­tish cit­i­zens when they cast their bal­lots on 23 June. How­ever, it would be naïve to ex­pect that in­ter­na­tional in­ter­ests would stay out of this in­creas­ingly heated and di­vi­sive de­bate.

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama en­tered into this po­lit­i­cal brouhaha dur­ing his visit to Lon­don last week. His mes­sage was loud and clear, that as far as he was con­cerned the UK be­longs and is bet­ter off stay­ing in the EU. In what some might call can­dour, and oth­ers blunt­ness, he as­serted that at a time of ma­jor in­ter­na­tional cri­sis Bri­tain’s mem­ber­ship of the EU serves not only Bri­tish in­ter­ests, but is also cru­cial for US, EU and the rest of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s in­ter­ests.

For the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, whose po­lit­i­cal ca­reer rests on win­ning, this in­ter­ven­tion was des­per­ately nec­es­sary. In re­turn, the leave camp de­clared an open sea­son on both

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.