British government commits to defend freedom of religion worldwide
The Government has restated its commitment to defending freedom of religion and belief around the globe. Christian MP Jim Shannon used a parliamentary debate to ask Foreign Office Minister Nigel Adams how the Government was implementing the recommendations of the Truro report. It called on the Government to sanction countries that persecute Christians and introduce mandatory religious literacy training for Foreign Office staff.
Earlier this month, the UK urged the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to do more to defend freedom of religion and belief. The International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said the UK was “deeply concerned” about levels of persecution and that UNHRC cooperation was “the best way to achieve real, positive impact”.
“We remain deeply concerned about global levels of intolerance, discrimination, and persecution of, and violence against, people because of their religion or belief (…) Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief must be defended, and we believe that working together is the best way to achieve real, positive impact in guaranteeing the rights of all faith or belief communities around the world.” Rita French said.
Fabian Hamilton pointed out that in 2020, some 260 million Christians worldwide face high levels of persecution for their beliefs— 15 million more than last year. Jim Shannon also drew attention to North-East Nigeria, where approximately 1,000 Christians have been killed since January 2019.