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Sunak and Starmer praise work of churches in Easter message

by Kelly Valencia

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer have commended the contributions of Christians in the UK in their annual Easter messages

Sunak paid tribute to “the incredible work of Christians in this country” and remembered those “persecuted because of their faith, who are unable to celebrate Easter freely” while Starmer spoke of his “gratitude to the Christian community in the UK and beyond, for their generosity and compassion".

In his message, the prime minister said: “This weekend, as people come together to celebrate and reflect on the message at the heart of the Easter festival, I want to pay tribute to the incredible work of Christians in this country.

"To the churches, charities, volunteers and fundraisers who live the Christian values of compassion, charity and self-sacrifice, supporting those in need and demonstrating what it means to 'love thy neighbour'.

"Many, I know, will also be thinking of those in pain and suffering around the world and Christians, persecuted because of their faith, who are unable to celebrate Easter freely.

"For many of us in the UK, Easter is a chance to pause and reflect and an opportunity to spend some precious time with our families and a moment to enjoy the start of Spring.

"So this weekend, let me wish you all a very happy and peaceful Easter."

Meanwhile, Starmer highlighted the themes of “hope and renewal” that can be found in the Easter story, which some interpreted as a reference to the upcoming general elections expected to take place this autumn.

He said: “The Easter story is one of hope and renewal, of overcoming adversity and light prevailing over darkness. As families and friends gather to celebrate the holiday we turn our thoughts towards new beginnings, our future and how things can change for the better.

“Faith is really valuable. It's a place where people can invest a lot of themselves and find comfort, hope and a sense of security. This Easter I’d like to express my gratitude to the Christian community in the UK and beyond, for their generosity and compassion.

“At this time of optimism and new beginnings, I thank them for everything they do, and wish all those celebrating a very Happy Easter.”

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