Amid the debate raging in Europe over the arrival of migrants from the predominantly Muslim Middle East and North Africa, British Prime Minister David Cameron emphasized in his Christmas message that the U.K. is a “Christian country” which has flourished due to its Christian values.
Cameron said that on Christmas, “[W]e celebrate the birth of God’s only son, Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace. As a Christian country, we must remember what his birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope.”
“I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none,” Cameron wrote.
He advised those celebrating the holiday with loved ones to take a moment to “think of those who cannot do the same,” such as those driven from of their homes by the Islamic State group.
“If there is one thing people want at Christmas, it’s the security of having their family around them and a home that is safe. But not everyone has that. Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh and [Syrian President Hafez] Assad,” Cameron said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
The prime minister paid special tribute to doctors, nurses and volunteers who give their holidays to care for the sick and needy and military service personnel who are “targeting the terrorists” and defending Britain.
“It is because they face danger that we have peace,” he wrote.
According to a report issued earlier this week by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of migrants who have crossed illegally into Europe this year has passed one million.