Britain’s New Prime Minister: ‘My Christian Faith Is Part of Me’

The U.K. has named a new prime minister, and she’s the first woman to hold that office since the Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. In fact, Theresa May will only be the second woman ever.

May is replacing the soon-to-be previous British PM David Cameron, who decided to resign following the country’s Brexit vote.

Of course, many people will rightly celebrate the fact that May is a woman. But perhaps more interesting is that the new leader of Britain is a committed Christian. She is actually the daughter of a Church of England vicar and has remained an active Christian throughout her life.

“I grew up the daughter of a local vicar and the granddaughter of a regimental sergeant major. Public service has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember,” she told the BBC.

Her faith influences her politics and plays a large role in why she stays involved in politics. Like many other British politicians, she tends to favor keeping faith out of political conversations.

“[My Christian faith] is part of me. It is part of who I am and therefore how I approach things,” she told BBC’s Desert Island Discs.

May has campaigned for the limit to abortions to be decreased from 24 weeks of pregnancy to 20 weeks based on scientific studies that show a premature baby could survive at 24 weeks—she generally describes herself as pro-choice. She has also voted against assisted suicide’s legality in Britain.

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She also has spoken out about social injustices and inequalities in society while serving as the Conservative Party leader. She said:

If you’re born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others. If you’re black you will be treated much more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white working class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman you still earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s too often not enough help to hand.

When asked on Desert Island Discs for her eight songs she would take as a castaway, two of her choices were Christian hymns: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and “Therefore We, Before Him Bending.”

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