A number of constituents have written in the last few weeks to bring my attention to the ‘Stop Christophobia’ campaign promoted by Premier.
I am a Christian and I believe passionately that people of all faiths should be able to exercise their fundamental right to worship freely, without the fear of intimidation and persecution faced by so many around the world.
Indeed, the Christian charity ‘Open Doors’ estimates that about 245 million Christians suffer persecution today. I am therefore encouraged by the steps taken by the Foreign Office to make Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) a priority, and look forward to the outcome of the Bishop of Truro’s independent review into our response to the persecution of Christians abroad. The report will provide an assessment of the impact and levels of UK support, and make recommendations to the Foreign Secretary.
In the meantime, the Government is continuing to make funds available to protect religious freedom overseas by working with faith groups, NGOs, and academics to promote religious diversity and help countries to prioritise FoRB along with poverty reduction and development.