Truro report launched to Ambassadors, FCO staff, NGO leaders and clergy

Jul 17, 2019 by

by Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel, CEN:

The Truro Report on FCO support for persecuted Christians was launched to a packed Assembly Hall in Church House on Monday July 15. The launch was chaired and introduced by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister’s special envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB). His own appointment had been suggested by Boris Johnson, when Foreign Secretary, and Theresa May. He apologized that Jeremy Hunt had had to go to Brussels to discuss the Iran tanker crisis.

Lord Ahmad stressed that freedom of religion or belief (FORB) lies at the heart of a person’s freedom to be who they are, and is the root of all other freedoms. Bishop Philip Mounstephen of Truro, who chaired the report, highlighted FORB as the canary in the mine. Once that stone is turned over, lots of other underlying ugly injustices come to light. But to single out Christians for protection, he said, often made matters worse for them and the best way forward was to guarantee freedom for everyone.

Dr Habib Malik from Lebanon, the son of Dr Charles Malik who drew up article 18 of the UN Charter of Human Rights, which guarantees religious freedom and the right to convert, argued that that article, on which Saudi Arabia abstained but did not oppose, was the rock on which to build the case for FORB.

The elephant in the room was named by Christy Anastas, of i61 collective which works for reconciliation and bridge building with a particular focus on the Middle East.

Read here

See also:

‘Culture of impunity’ over violence in Nigeria, says Archbishop of Jos, by Adam Beckett, Church Times: “An agenda to wipe Christianity from the face of northern Nigeria”, not climate change, is behind the sickening slaughter which continues in the region, says Ben Kwashi.

China’s appalling harvest of believers’ organs, by Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack, The Conservative Woman: “Today in China, the communist state is determined to control religion. The persecution of Christians, Muslims and others is testimony to their resistance to communist ideological control.”

A closer look at how religious restrictions have risen around the world, from the Pew Research Center

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