Queen Elizabeth II is expected to speak on her faith, Christianity, and its role in the modern British society on Christmas Day.
Every year, the head of the British Monarchy delivers a holiday message that is broadcasted December 25 at 3pm. This year, Queen Elizabeth II is expected to have her message centered on her faith, Christianity and its role in the modern British society.
Though the queen’s message has always been kept confidential until it is broadcasted, a news agency source inside the palace has said that it will be the most “overtly Christian” message amidst the issues on religious extremism. According to the source “Over the years we’ve seen a greater emphasis on the Queen’s faith and we’re certain to see it in this year’s Christmas broadcast. There’s a fundamental optimism which, to an extent, is driven by her faith in contrast to the overall gloom. She is driven by a deep and spirited faith.”
On the other hand, author Stephen Bates said that the queen plans to discuss her deep faith to promote calmness and spirituality during these days of growing consumerism.
Former Rochester Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali expressed his views on this year’s royal holiday message. According to Nazir-Ali, though the celebration is a Christian event, the queen should also consider religious tolerance or inclusion “The Queen was very aware of the need to express her faith clearly while also respecting other beliefs. There is pressure for the next Coronation to be multi-faith or no faith.”
Good! We need more of this. Queen To Deliver ‘Overtly Christian’ Christmas Message https://t.co/VdYPUaCP0h
— EricKjosMO (@EricKjos) December 22, 2015
Since Islamic extremism is the most popular topic globally this year, the former bishop said that it’s the perfect time for the queen to express her thoughts on it. Nazir-Ali said that “Clearly extremism is a backdrop to anything that any public figures says at this time. If people in this country gave greater heed to what the Queen says about the importance of Christianity in our personal as well as our national life, then we would be in a better place to confront it.” He added the queen is aware of the plight of persecuted Christians in the conflict zones in Middle East.
Another English church leader has expressed his concern about religious extremism and Islamophobia early this week. According to Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, he sympathizes with innocent Muslims whose faith was used to justify extremist or hate attacks. He also sympathizes with the Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and members of other religions. The Archbishop offered a prayer and hoped for more tolerance across religions “No one in this country should have to feel fear and anxiety as they try peacefully to live, pray and worship in their faith tradition.”
The Queen’s holiday message, known as the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast is now 84 years old. Elizabeth II’s grandfather King George started the tradition in 1932. The queen first delivered her first holiday message in 1957 from the Sandringham Palace. Each year, the special broadcast attracts a large audience and last year, it was viewed by 7.8 million U.K. residents.
2014: Queen’s Christmas Message