BY Daniel Harkins | April 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Christ’s resurrection provides hope, Sturgeon says in first Easter message to Christian community

The ‘story of Christ’s death and resurrection provides hope and inspiration for millions of people around the world,’ Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in an Easter message.

As the SCO reported last year, the First Minister has previously addressed messages to the country’s Jews on Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah, and to Muslims on Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, but has never issued an Easter message that specifically addresses the Faith of Christians.

However, following criticism last year for not issuing an Easter message, she has now released a video statement to the SCO in which she says Easter is an opportunity to ‘reflect on the contribution our Christian churches make to Scotland and to the wider world.’

 

Catholic Parliamentary Office

Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, welcomed the move.

“The First Minister’s decision to issue an Easter message this year is to be welcomed. Hopefully it will become a fixture,” he said.

“At a time when aggressive secularism pushes to remove all vestiges of religion from society, the First Minister’s reminder of the crucial contribution made to Scottish society by the Christian churches is both timely and gracious.”

 

 

Full message

The First Minister’s message reads in full: “Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar. It reaffirms people’s faith by providing an occasion for reflection, prayer and celebration.

“And it is a time when the story of Christ’s death and resurrection provides hope and inspiration for millions of people around the world.

“Easter is also an opportunity to reflect on the contribution our Christian churches make to Scotland and to the wider world. For many people, they provide a sense of belonging, of community.

“They help disadvantaged and vulnerable people here in Scotland. And they also provide support and assistance for millions of people in the developing world.

“As a result, our Christian churches are a great example of the way in which faith groups of all religions help to make Scotland a better, fairer, more compassionate country.

“Easter gives us a chance to appreciate once again the contribution they make. And it also provides an opportunity to think about values – such as kindness, compassion and love— which are central to Christianity, and which are also fundamental to any decent society.

“Those values are always worth reflecting on, and reaffirming— and this weekend is an ideal time to do so. So wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that all of you have a happy & peaceful Easter.”

 

Scottish Labour

In a response to the SCO, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also wished the ‘Scottish Catholic community a happy and peaceful Easter.’

“For many people, the weeks of Lent have meant giving up a treat. But for too many children in Scotland, a treat is all too rare and even then only likely through an emergency food parcel,” he said.

“In the last 18 months almost half a million emergency food parcels have been handed out in Scotland.

“Scotland is a wealthy country. Our children should not be growing up hungry. That is why Labour stands with the Church on raising Child Benefit by £5 per week, and we recognise the significant role the Church plays in standing up against poverty and inequality.

“This is represented not just in the values preached in the gospel and by Pope Francis, but in the practical action taking place day in and day out in our communities – like the thousands of pounds collected every week for the less fortunate.

“Easter is a season of renewal. We will take this opportunity to renew our commitment to rid our communities of poverty, suffering and want.”

 

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