Thank you for contacting me about the persecution of Christians and the launch of the Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List. I was pleased to be able to attend.
The UK has always championed freedom of religion or belief for everyone. As a country that has always been a beacon for freedom and tolerance, I passionately believe the UK should not shirk its responsibilities.
That is why I am glad the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, has been published. The UK Government is committed to implementing the recommendations from the Bishop of Truro's Review.
The recommendations have been divided into short, medium and longer term priorities and Ministers have already implemented a good number of them. This includes recently appointing a Director General level champion for Freedom of Religion or Belief and marking Red Wednesday in support of persecuted Christians and members of other minority groups. Some of the recommendations will take longer to implement and many will require an ongoing effort to embed into the working practice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Departments.
I was pleased to attend the Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List launch on 15th January, and I was encouraged that the Prime Minister’s special envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief was also able to attend, showing that addressing the persecution of Christians is still a government priority.