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Independence vote: Time to build a new Scotland with values at the heart

Church leaders have been responding to the 'No' vote in the Scottish referendum on independence, urging politicians to reflect Christian values at the heart of change ...

The Evangelical Alliance Scotland has called for the nation to unite and build a new Scotland with Christian values at the heart following the results of the independence vote. Responding to the outcome Scottish National Director Fred Drummond (pictured below) said:

"This has been an incredible season for our nation and the referendum debate has invigorated Scotland with our churches at the heart of the debate. With the votes now cast and the result declared the people of Scotland have spoken and it is now time for us to unite as a nation and build a new and better Scotland based on the vision, hope and aspiration which characterised the debate.

"As Scots now consider what kind of nation will now emerge from this campaign, the Church must lead – and be allowed to lead – the way to ensure the new Scotland is one that reflects God's values in the economy, the family, our communities and our environment.  

"As Christians we passionately believe that these values will shape our nation for good to face the challenges we will face. There has been an exceptionally high level of engagement and this must not wane. The passion must continue.

"We recognise that while many are celebrating this morning there are also many in Scotland who are devastated at this result. It is now time to show grace and kindness to those on the other side and move quickly to bring reconciliation where it is needed in our land. I know it will be a difficult thing for some people to do but we must love our neighbour. We are all Scots and Scots at heart together. If we put God’s love at the heart of what we do, healing will be much faster, genuine and long-lasting.

"Christian values have built Scotland and helped it to achieve the success in society. Let’s reinforce these principles and strengthen them. It is an undeniable fact that Christian values have been good for our society.

"Our evangelical churches are here to help. We are here to help heal divisions within families, workplaces, friendships and even in the church itself. The Christian Gospel provides the catalyst for reconciliation and as Christians we recognise our responsibility to model grace, forgiveness and reconciliation to our fellow citizens.

"During this campaign all Scots have rallied around a flag. But as Christians our identity is not based on a flag or a national boundary but on the radical grace of being adopted into God's family.

"Scotland and the UK will not be the same after this vote. We the Evangelical Alliance and our member churches stand ready to play our part.

"We urge Christians in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales to come together to pray for Scotland as we build a future for our nation."

The Evangelical Alliance Scotland released a report entitled What Kind of Nation? (above) in the run-up to the vote. Click here to read it.

Meanwhile the Free Church of Scotland has urged the nation to move from “self-interest” to “focusing on the needs of others” .

The Free Church called on voters to respect the democratic voice, and to focus on the future, working with a united resolve to make Scotland a successful nation within the UK.

But it warned that lasting change to “societal ills” such as sexual abuse, relationship breakdown and poverty could only be achieved with Christianity flourishing in the public square.

James Fraser CBE, Chairman of the Free Church’s Board of Trustees, said: “Much of the debate of the past two years has been focused on self-interest.  We would now like the focus to shift to the needs of others.  

“Many of our communities are scarred by the effects of unemployment, substance and sexual abuse, and relationship breakdown; the care provision for our old people is often inadequate, and too many of our children fail to attain basic literacy and numeracy skills.

“We call on MSPs to work tirelessly to create a more just and caring society, to support the family as the bedrock of society, to fight poverty, economic and social exclusion and the scourges of poverty and unemployment.

“The place of Christianity in the public place is the key to resolving these social ills and we would welcome the opportunity to work alongside the Scottish Government in pursuit of these aims.”

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