Both the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales have urged the United Kingdom to continue showing compassion and generosity toward strangers in need despite the results of Thursday’s national referendum, in which British citizens voted to leave the European Union.
“As citizens of the United Kingdom, whatever our views during the referendum campaign, we must now unite in a common task to build a generous and forward looking country, contributing to human flourishing around the world. We must remain hospitable and compassionate, builders of bridges and not barriers,” the CofE wrote in its official response to the referendum.
“Many of those living among us and alongside us as neighbours, friends and work colleagues come from overseas and some will feel a deep sense of insecurity. We must respond by offering reassurance, by cherishing our wonderfully diverse society, and by affirming the unique contribution of each and every one,” it added.
British citizens voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the EU, with concerns over open borders and massive flows of immigration serving as one of the main factors behind the decision.
While UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who led the campaign to leave the EU, said the decision is rooted in Britain’s strive for political and economic independence, other prominent political leaders, such as Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, argued that issues of immigration played a major role in the vote.
“People are angry all over the world. They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are,” Trump said about the referendum results.
“They’re angry about many, many things in the U.K., the U.S. and many other places. This will not be the last.”