Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK “must do more” to help persecuted Christians and has ordered an independent review to assess if the British Government is doing enough.
The Foreign Office review will be led by the Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, and will make recommendations on the practical steps the government can take to better support some of the 215 million Christians globally who faced persecution last year.
Mr Hunt said: “Britain has long championed international religious freedom.”
“So often the persecution of Christians is a telling early warn-ing sign of the persecution of every minority,” he continued.
Due to be published at Easter, the review will map the persecution of Christians in “key countries” in the Middle East, Africa and Asia; provide an analysis of current UK government support and offer recommendations for a “cohesive and comprehensive policy response.”
The Foreign Office said the review would “consider some tough questions and offer ambitious policy recommendations.”
Lord Tariq Ahmad, the Government’s special envoy on freedom of religion or belief, said: “This is an issue that resonates deeply: 70 years ago during the partition of India, my family had to leave their home and livelihoods simply because of their faith.
“Seventy years later religious persecution is on the rise around the world. Our government has prioritised freedom of religion or belief and the review we are announcing today is about providing an objective view of Britain’s support for the most vulnerable Christians globally.