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Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church on leaving the EU

by Hannah Tooley

He said: "Over this past week, the United Kingdom has experienced a series of significant, challenging and sometimes painful milestones.

"With the long-awaited results of the EU referendum, and the tragic death of Jo Cox MP in the lead-up, emotions are high and there is potential for hostility and divisiveness to flourish.

"There is, however, the more positive outcome that these events serve as a catalyst for a greater unity and collective stance for the good of all."

24th June 2016 events:
- David Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister after losing the campaign to keep the UK in the EU
- Boris Johnson becomes the favourite to succeed him - he's paid tribute, saying he was "sad" to see Mr Cameron go
- Two senior Labour MPs have submitted a no-confidence motion in party leader Jeremy Corbyn - meaning his leadership is also hanging in the balance
- Majority of Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay - prompting calls for fresh votes over their futures in the UK
- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says a second independence referendum there is now 'highly likely'
- FTSE and the pound suffered historic falls in value earlier - although both have made up some of the ground they lost

He went on: "While Jo's tragic and wasteful death was unequivocally horrific and heart-breaking, it also gave rise to overwhelming acts of generosity from the general public and unrivalled comradery in the Houses of Parliament.

"This tragedy also sparked a significant conversation on the importance of solidarity and indiscriminate compassion for humanity, with the hashtags #LoveLikeJo and #MoreInCommon emerging to diffuse divisive rhetoric and promote understanding in the public sphere."

The faith leader reminded the UK that it is important for the nation to commence the healing process that is needed now.

He finished: "Regardless of what the future holds for the United Kingdom we can be certain that we are in the hands of a mighty God Who is unchanging and with us throughout our various challenges.

"It is our role as Christians, not only to be stewards and active citizens within our countries, but to provide holistic support for all who find these events overwhelming and distressing.

" We pray for the Prime Minister, our parliament, and all those entrusted with the leadership of these great nations, confident that the United Kingdom will find a way to embark on this new stage in history, together united."

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