The leader of one of the Province’s largest churches has written to all congregations to urge them to vote in Thursday’s election, and to pray for the Province’s politicians.
Dr Frank Sellar, the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (which has around 225,000 members) urged its members not to be “pessimistic” about politics.
The 315-word letter was circulated to church ministers in time for Sunday services, and would have been mentioned in many church services.
In it, he said: “Following May’s election few of us expected a return to the ballot box within such a short space of time.
“In these circumstances we could easily be cynical and pessimistic about politics, but as followers of Christ who are called to pray for our political leaders (1 Timothy 2:2) we take comfort in the knowledge that He is able to make things work for good in the brokenness of our lives and our world.”
He added: “Engaging and participating in the democratic process is, therefore, one of the ways that we may seek ‘the peace and prosperity of the city’ to which we have been called (Jeremiah 29:7).
“So can I encourage you and your congregation to approach the upcoming election prayerfully and to vote, in the hope that the people we elect will work with integrity, generosity of spirit and a commitment to the common good?”
He further urged members to keep in mind Christ’s teaching on love for one’s enemies, and about helping the weak and poor.
Dr Sellar, of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church in east Belfast, was installed in the role of moderator last summer.