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British Baptist: U.K. Should Favor EU Alignment

Christians should advocate the sense of interdependence that comes from close relationships in Europe.
That’s according to Tony Peck, general secretary of the European Baptist Federation, who spoke following the European Union summit, which concluded recently.

Peck said that European Baptists would want to argue for “a healthy, interdependent Europe and EU where the strong help the weak to get on their feet and become strong again.”

At the summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron blocked changes to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty because he said it was not in Britain’s interests.

Instead, the 26 other member states – 17 EU countries and nine other EU states – will work toward a separate agreement aimed at preventing a repeat of the current debt crisis.

Peck said the perception in many other European countries is that the U.K. is increasingly sidelining itself in the EU and “perhaps losing influence.”

“While we can well understand that the U.K. must address its own severe financial challenges at this time, I would personally hope that political ideology and pressure from Euro-skeptics would not stop the U.K. continuing to play a central role in Europe and the EU,” Peck said.

“Working among European Baptists makes me realize that this sense of interdependence, though hard for the British to experience as an island nation, is something which we should advocate as European Christians.”

The EU was facing its most “significant and existential crisis since its existence,” according to a statement from the Conference of European Churches (CEC), which called for greater solidarity between the peoples of Europe.

Reducing present debt cannot be achieved only by austerity measures, which affect already vulnerable people in our societies, according to the CEC. “The European social model, appreciated on many occasions before, must prove its viability especially in moments of crisis.”

This article appeared originally in TheBaptistTimes of Great Britain.