Easter is a time to reflect on the part that Christianity plays in our national lives, said British Prime Minister David Cameron. "The church is not a collection of beautiful, old buildings. It's a living, active force, doing great works," he said, adding that he's an unapologetic supporter of the role of faith in this country.
Easter also is a period during which Christians celebrate that ultimate triumph of life over death in the resurrection of Jesus, proclaimed the prime minister of the United Kingdom since 2010.
He told Premier Christianity he knows not everyone agrees, though. "Many understandably feel that in this seemingly secular society, talking about faith isolates those who have no faith. Others argue that celebrating Easter somehow marginalizes other religions. For me, the key point is this: the values of Easter and the Christian religion -- compassion, forgiveness, kindness, hard work and responsibility -- are values that we can all celebrate and share."
In 2014, Cameron famously described his Christian faith as being a "bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes." Yet in recent years, Some say the signal guiding his faith appears to have been amplified. He continues to urge Christians to be "more evangelical" about their beliefs, and to "get out there and make a difference to people's lives."
"When people are homeless, the church is there, providing hot meals and shelter," he said.
"When people are addicted or in debt, when people are suffering, or grieving, the church is there."
Cameron said he knew from the most difficult times in his own life, the kindness of the church can be a huge comfort. He said Britains don't just talk about being Christian, they live it out. "That's why we should be proud to say we are a Christian country. Yes, we're a nation that accepts all faiths, but we're still a Christian country."
In August 2013, Cameron described himself as a practicing Christian and an active member of the Church of England. On religious faith in general, he has said: "I do think that organized religion can get things wrong but the Church of England and the other churches do play a very important role in society."
He said he considers the Bible "a sort of handy guide" on morality. Because he views Britain as a "Christian country," he said he aims to put faith back into politics. He references the British government contributing funding to help repair churches, and in its officials putting laws in place that allow councils to include public prayers.
"We have a duty to speak out about the persecution of Christians around the world," said Cameron. To all brave Christians who aren't renouncing their faith or sheltering other Christians, he said, "We must say we stand with you, and must put those words into action, by providing humanitarian aid or funding grassroots reconciliation."
"We must continue to speak as one voice for continued freedom of belief," he added. "And keep in our thoughts all those Christians facing persecution."