Thank you for contacting me about the persecution of Christians.
It is an extraordinary figure that nearly a quarter of a billion people are suffering persecution today because of their Christian faith. In addition, 80 per cent of people who suffer persecution because of their faith are Christian.
As you know, the Foreign Secretary has asked the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, to conduct an independent review into the UK’s response to the persecution of Christians abroad. The review aims to map levels of persecution of and other discrimination against Christians in key countries around the world. It will provide an objective assessment of the impact and levels of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) support, and make recommendations to the Foreign Secretary.
The UK has played an important role in bringing together countries that share our values and giving a voice to people who don’t have one. However, I fully support this review and am hoping that the outcome of this will be that the FCO has a deeper understanding of what it can do better in this arena.
I look forward to reading the reports that will be published as a result of the review which I understand will have a strong focus on gathering evidence and engaging in consultation with a range of actors, including survivors and victims, civil society institutions, the diplomatic community, government bodies and multilateral agencies.
The persecution of Christians is a scandal that stains the whole international community and it must stop.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP