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David Cameron giving a speech - Copyright Action Press/REX
UK News

Prime Minister thanks churches in Easter message

The Prime Minister is praising churches for the work they do in the local community in his Easter message, saying they became "refuges offering shelter" during the Winter storms that affected large parts of the country earlier this year.

David Cameron has said the actions of congregations during the floods was further evidence that "people's faith motivates them to do good deeds" when their communities were in crisis.

He said Easter was a time to reflect on what Christianity brings to Britain, highlighting the work church volunteers do in soup kitchens helping the poor and in prisons where Alpha courses are run to help reform offenders.

Alpha prison ministry spokesperson Paul Cowley told Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour why he thinks the Prime Minister highlighted the work they do.

Mr Cameron also used his Easter message to affirm Britain's commitment to standing up for Christian communities facing persecution abroad.

He said religious freedom was an "absolute fundamental human right" and Britain was committed to defending and protecting Christians both at home and elsewhere.

His comments follow Mr Cameron's statement in the House of Commons earlier this week, where he told MPs he would highlight the issue when he meets Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The country's draconian blasphemy laws have seen dozens of Christians, including one Britain sentenced to death for often minor offences. Listen to David Cameron's Easter message in full here:

The Prime Minister's Easter message comes only days after he told a gathering of Christian leaders at a special event to celebrate Easter at Number 10 Downing Street that churches have been doing his "Big Society" idea for decades.

Referring at one point to Jesus Christ as "our saviour", he also went further than any recent prime minister in talking about his Christian faith publicly.

Cameron said his "moments of greatest peace" come "perhaps every other Thursday morning" when he slips into the Eucharist at St. Mary Abbots, the church in Kensington, west London, linked to the school his children attend. "I find a little bit of peace and hopefully a bit of guidance".

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