Mon 08 Jul 2019
By Press Association
Christians are the “most persecuted religious group in modern times”, Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt has claimed.
If he wins the Tory leadership race, Mr Hunt said he will seek to protect Christians around the world as Prime Minister by enacting all of the recommendations of a review he commissioned as Foreign Secretary last year.
The Bishop of Truro’s independent review, published on Monday, looks at the Foreign Office response to the persecution of Christians.
Speaking ahead of the launch, the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen said: “Addressing this issue with the seriousness it deserves represents a step change for democratic governments.
“My hope is that in adopting my recommendations the Foreign Office will be able to bring its considerable experience and expertise to bear in helping some of the planet’s most vulnerable people.”
The bishop recommends the UK Government pushes for a Security Council Resolution urging all governments in the Middle East and North Africa to protect Christians and other persecuted minorities, and allow UN observers to monitor the necessary security measures.
The report also calls for the UK Government to consider imposing sanctions against those who commit human rights abuses against religious minorities, including Christians.
Mr Hunt said the UK must take a firmer stance on the persecution of Christians around the world.
He added: “The sense of misguided political correctness that has stopped us standing up for Christians overseas must end.
“At home, we all benefit from living in a tolerant, diverse society and we should not be afraid of promoting those values abroad.
“It is a sad fact that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in modern times.
“I am determined to show that we are on their side.”
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief said the Government has already “acted on the rising tide of Christian persecution across the world with some success”.
He added: “We, therefore, note the findings of this independent report and will consider the recommendations carefully and how they may further enhance our work in tackling Christian persecution specifically and in strengthening our work on freedom of religion or belief.”