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15 March 2017

A second Scottish referendum: how should Christians respond?

A second Scottish referendum: how should Christians respond?

 The Evangelical Alliance in Scotland calls Christians to engage and pray following the announcement from Nicola Sturgeon that she will seek to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.

In a statement the Alliance commented: "Any future referendum opens up the opportunity for the church to once again exercise our prophetic voice in considering what kind of society we wish to live in and what kind of nation we want to be. Our role within these upcoming conversations is to be a people of hope, bringing Jesus' values into our national discussions and ensuring that the debates which take place are done with a tone and a substance that is worthy of the issues being discussed."

The announcement by the First Minister is the latest significant intervention in what is a constantly changing political context, with Theresa May expected to invoke Article 50 after the Houses of Parliament passed legislation this week.

The statement continues: "We recognise that the possibility of another referendum will have brought deeply held and very differing responses, just as the ongoing discussions on Brexit have done across the UK. In Scotland we are now well used to serious constitutional debate and as an Alliance we see our role not to take sides but to encourage evangelical Christians to be passionate participants in the process."

"During the 2014 independence debate the Evangelical Alliance was at the forefront of this effort through our What Kind of Nation? initiative, helping Christians to engage thoughtfully with the issues and bringing MSPs into conversation with churches at our hustings events across Scotland. As the landscape becomes clearer over the coming months we will once again be ready to help God's people engage with whatever debates unfold.

"As the debate and political manoeuvring over a second referendum continues it is important for Christians to remember that our hope is placed in Christ, and he is the root of our identity. We are first and foremost a Kingdom people, and our hope is in his power before any flag, symbol or border.

"Whatever the nature of the debate and whatever the result of any future referendum our identity in Christ will not change. As Christians our challenge is to demonstrate the values of the Kingdom in how we engage and debate these issues. Finally it is now a time for us to pray for great wisdom for all our political leaders as discussions take place about the future of the relationships of both the UK and the EU."