MP calls for religious freedom for all faiths
By Eno Adeogun
An MP has challenged Christians to be concerned about the persecution of people from all faiths instead of just followers of Christ.
Speaking on Thursday during an annual debate on international freedom of religion or belief in Westminster Hall, Jeremy Lefroy who’s a Christian and the Tory MP for Stafford told MPs that human rights issues must apply to people of all faiths and even those without one.
He explained: “Too often we are only concerned about the persecution of our own faith and we need to stand up for people of any faith that are being challenged.
“We hang together so that we don’t hang separately.”
The debate took place ahead of International Freedom of Religion or Belief Day on Saturday following an application from Jim Shannon, Democratic Unionist MP for Strangford, who is also a Christian.
Lefroy argued that if MPs receive police protection where they travel to countries where people are persecuted for their faith, they should use that privilege to speak up for freedom of religion and belief.
Particular concern was raised for people being persecuted for their faith or lack of belief in countries including Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Turkey, Egypt and Iran.
While we enjoy considerable freedom of persecution in the UK comparatively, Christian Tory MP for Congleton, Fiona Bruce said threats to this privilege exist.
Using the Ashers “gay cake” case as an example, she said that while she was pleased with the outcome, she was “concerned” by the time and expense required to come to that verdict.
She added that the UK should be a “beacon of hope around the word” with regard to religion and freedom of belief but she feared it “may not be for much longer”.