We must do more to end Christian persecution
Thornbury & Yate MP Luke Hall writes for the Voice
NEARLY a quarter of a billion people today are suffering persecution around the world, purely because of their Christian faith. It is hard to comprehend that as many as 80 per cent of all people globally who suffer persecution because of their faith are Christian. There are people on ‘death row’ in Pakistan for false blasphemy charges, stoning in Kenya and beatings in Vietnam. The current situation cannot go on.
In January of this year, a bombing at a church in the Philippines saw 20 Christians killed, and dozens more wounded. In February and March, almost 300 Christians were killed in villages across Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists, with many incidents of maiming by machete also reported.
This is an issue I have raised in parliament directly with the Foreign Secretary; raising the support and protection the UK Government is providing to Christians overseas, in the face of relentless discrimination and oppression for no reason other than their religious beliefs.
That is why I was delighted to see that Jeremy Hunt had asked the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, to conduct an independent review into the UK’s response.
We must gain an understanding of the steps the UK Government needs to take in order become world leaders in promoting global religious tolerance. We should be setting up a fund to help with legal fees and access to justice and protection for persecuted Christians. We have to take action to ensure British aid money actually reaches the people who need it.
As the local MP, I am supporting this review, and am hoping that the outcome of this will be that the UK can gain a deeper understanding of what it can do. It is vitally important that the scope is sufficient in order to ensure that it can effectively inform the steps that Britain needs to take in order to tackle the problem. If you therefore have any personal thoughts on what steps you believe the Government ought to be taking to achieve these goals, I would be delighted to hear these views at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is vital that we tackle persecution of Christians all across the world, and I look forward to following positive developments in these efforts closely in the future.