Boris Johnson Vows to Defend Christians in First Christmas Message Since Becoming PM

December 26, 2019 Updated: December 26, 2019

Boris Johnson has vowed to defend Christians around the world in his first Christmas message since becoming U.K prime minister.

In a video posted to Twitter, Johnson acknowledged that Christmas Day is “first and foremost, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.”

“It is a day of inestimable importance to billions of Christians the world over,” he added.

He continued: “Today of all days, I want us to remember those Christians around the world who are facing persecution. For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell.

“As prime minister, that’s something I want to change. We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and will defend your right to practice your faith.”

Johnson also thanked those working in public services on Christmas day, particularly members of the NHS and Armed Forces.

“As many of us are enjoying a break at this time of year, let’s not forget all those who have selflessly put their celebrations on hold,” he said.

“On behalf of the whole country, I want to say a huge thank you to our amazing NHS [National Health Service] staff … many of whom will be working throughout the holidays to take care of us.”

“Thank you also, to our police, to all those public servants working tirelessly this Christmas,” he added.

Johnson also extended his “personal gratitude” to members of the armed forces currently on deployment and to their “friends, family, and children back home who have an empty chair at the table when they tuck into their Christmas dinner.”

Finally, he asked the country to reflect on the year and celebrate the “good that is to come” under his leadership.

The prime minister’s message to Christians comes shortly after he shared a similar one to mark the start of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah and spoke of his commitment to combat anti-Semitism.

“Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community, and we will stand with you and celebrate with you—at Hanukkah and all year round,” he said.

The PM noted that recent years have not been easy for British Jews, adding: “Today as Britain’s Jews seek to drive back the darkness of resurgent anti-Semitism, you have every decent person in this country fighting by your side.”

Johnson defeated Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the national election earlier this month following a wave of backlash from the Jewish community over the leader’s alleged anti-Semitism.

Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews were recorded within the Labour party since Coryn was elected to lead it in 2015.

Corbyn has also been vocal in his criticism of Israel in the past. He had accused the country of committing a number of human rights violations against the Palestinian people.