- Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for Foreign Secretary reveals intensity of global Christian persecution
- Calls for more commitment from Foreign Office in protecting persecuted religious minorities
LONDON (15 July 2019) – Today, the “Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians” was presented. It included an extensive review of the extent of persecution of Christians all over the world along with recommendations to the UK Foreign Office on protecting freedom of religion. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt established the independent review in response to a recent increase in the global persecution of Christians.
“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. We welcome the report of the Bishop of Truro and the efforts of the Foreign Secretary in creating awareness around the plight of persecuted Christians all over the world. Christians are the most persecuted religious group and it is time that the UK government no longer turn a blind eye to this fact but commits to protecting their rights. The report outlines human rights abuses including extreme violence, threats, enslavement, kidnappings, rape, and even genocide.
Though often perpetrated by non-state actors, the persecution of Christians also happens at the hands of governments. We urge the international community to call out these governments on their violations and take action against such behavior. All states must ensure that their laws and policies are in line with their commitments to protect religious freedom under international law. If taken seriously and acted on, this report is a first step of genuine action in protecting persecuted Christians all over the world,” said Ryan Christopher, Senior Policy Officer for ADF International in London.
Report shows shocking reality of Christian persecution
The report reveals the details of Christian persecution and the lack of response by the UK and other European countries. It states that “the overwhelming majority (estimated at 80 per cent) of persecuted religious believers are Christian.” Following these observations, it illustrates the degree of persecution perpetrated by both non-state and state actors drawing on examples from Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Extremes like violence, threats, enslavement, rape, executions, blasphemy laws, anti-conversion laws, church demolitions, forced disappearances, and even genocide are described in detail. The report calls for better religious literacy in the Foreign Service and the prioritization of countering Christian persecution in UK foreign policy.
Read more about ADF International’s response to the report in this Spiked commentary.