Now is the time to deliver on Johnson’s commitments to persecuted Christians

Dec 27, 2019 by

by David Alton, Conservative Home:

On Boxing Day last year, Jeremy Hunt, then Foreign Secretary, announced that he had asked Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, to establish an independent review into the global persecution of Christians.

On July 4th, during the Conservative leadership election, the Bishop published his findings – including the estimate that almost 250 million Christians live in countries where they are subjected to high levels of persecution.

Eighty four per cent of the world’s population has a faith; a third are Christian. But, according to Pew Research Centre, 74 per cent of the world’s population live in the countries where there are violations at the hands of Islamists or Marxists.

Every day, an average of eleven Christians lose their lives. Hunt and Boris Johnson welcomed the Truro Review’s 22 recommendations and committed themselves to implement them in their entirety.

This subsequently became a Tory manifesto commitment. The Prime Minister has declared:

“We will do everything possible to champion these freedoms…. We are determined to use the tools of British diplomacy in this cause, including our permanent seat on the UN Security Council.In light of mounting evidence that Christians suffer the most widespread persecution…we have accepted, and will implement, all of the review’s challenging recommendations. We will use the UK’s global reach and programme funding to improve the lives of persecuted people.”

The Truro Review’s recommendations go to the heart of Foreign Office and DFID culture – which is why it speaks directly to the Prime Minister’s decision to see how those departments and their priorities relate to one another.

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