The persecution of Christians, or any other religious group, is entirely unacceptable. Everyone should be able to practise and profess their religious faith free from persecution.
Organisations such as Open Doors play an important role in highlighting terrible violations of this human right around the world. I will be paying close attention to the upcoming launch of the latest World Watch List report by Open Doors.
Many constituents have contacted me regarding the Bishop of Truro who undertook a review of Foreign & Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians in early 2019. His report found that Christians are the most persecuted group, with 80% of religious persecution globally against Christians.
I believe genuine action on the persecution of Christians is long overdue. Numerous options are available to the Government to show it is committed to protecting religious minorities, and many of them were outlined in the Bishop of Truro’s report. The Government has said that it accepts, and will implement, all of the Bishop of Truro’s recommendations.
I think the protection of human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, should be at the heart of UK foreign policy. We must do everything in our power to ensure that people of faith across the world have the freedom to pursue their beliefs without fear of harassment or victimisation. This should include using all diplomatic means available, including bilateral relations and multilateral forums such as the UN, to ensure that international law is adhered to where there are humanitarian issues and breaches of human rights.