PRAYER ALERT: Newspaper headlines called it a political earthquake. On May 22-25, elections were held for the European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union (EU). But it was the anti-EU parties which polled strongly in the UK, France, Denmark and Italy. The surprisingly big Euroskeptics vote left top leaders shaken and admitting the need for major changes in the EU.
France’s President Francois Hollande said the EU had become “remote and incomprehensible” to many citizens and called for a reduction of its role. Hollande’s ruling Socialist Party placed only third in France’s EP vote, well behind the Front National’s 25 percent. In the UK, the ruling Conservative Party also came in third. UK’s PM David Cameron stressed that leaders must “heed the views expressed at the ballot box that the EU needs to change.” In Germany, the ruling conservative party won the poll. But even there, Chancellor Angela Merkel frankly acknowledged the Euroskeptics vote. Merkel said the EU needs new policies that emphasize “competitiveness, growth and jobs.”
The Euroskeptics vote was highest in the Great Britian, where the UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 27 percent. UKIP leader Nigel Farage calls for the UK to leave the EU and negotiate its own free trade agreements. Counter to the EU’s long support of the gay agenda, Farage opposes legalizing same-sex marriages. He is concerned that churches would be forced to perform such marriages contrary to their faith. Farage also supports a point-based work-permit immigration policy which would require an accountability process for prospective immigrants. But he is willing to make exceptions for persecuted Christians in Syria to emigrate to the UK.
Farage distances himself from the stricter immigration policy put forth by the anti-EU Front National. FN topped French polls with 25 percent. FN had once been dismissed as a fringe party due to racist and anti-semitic remarks by its long-time leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. His daughter Marine set herself apart from the party machine for a time in protest of such statements.
Now she is FN’s leader and has won greater credibility for her party. Marine Le Pen has overcome the charge of antisemitism by advocating the right of Israel to protect itself against terrorism. She upholds the right of France to do so too. Her stricter “anti-EU” immigration policies include reinstating customs to better control France’s borders. Le Pen says that the main problem in France is the “visibility” of Islam. Such high numbers of Muslims have immigrated to France that they now constitute 10 percent of the population.
Defense against Muslim terrorist attacks in Europe is no longer a “far right” issue. On April 22 the “leftist” socialist French government gave notice that any French citizen returning from Syria could face charges of participating in a terrorist organization. In the next two days both the Netherlands and Wales warned of radical militants returning to Europe from Syria. On May 21 British police arrested five men suspected of fraudulently using a Syrian aid charity as a front for financing terrorism.
Europe has long been weakened by a secular humanism that has embraced the LGBT agenda and shown intolerance toward Christians. And yet in the name of tolerance Europe has been opening doors to covert Muslim militants. Is it now waking up to the enemy within? Will the Euroskeptics vote lead to more national economic and defensive initiatives as opposed to watered-down EU-wide compromises? Most of all, does the Euroskeptics vote show disaffection with moral relativism and desire for proven and reliable truths?
PRAY WITH US: Father God, You are the only true God. We thank You for showing us the way, the truth and the life through Jesus. We thank You for using Europe in many ways in the past to illuminate those revelations to the nations. But the “Enlightenment” brought darkness to Europe. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” In darkness they succumbed to false light, perverse sex, and counterfeit unity. And in this darkness they are vulnerable to an militant and oppressive Islam. It is plotting to overthrow and completely dominate them.
But Europeans are also vulnerable to Your light. Thank You for bringing many of the nations they have witnessed to back to them. Many immigrant Christians are shining lights who can ignite Europe anew. Shut doors to Muslims who mean Europe harm. Keep doors open to Christians, including Syrian refugees. Give them a mission to reawaken Europe to its calling as a light to all nations. Let the Euroskeptics vote open the way for a new political order that shows favor to what You are doing. Magnify Your work in many ways and bring more surprises to Europe. Make a world-weary Europe God-hungry again. And satisfy that hunger with Your righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Euroskeptics vote shakes Europe’s rulers