#RedWednesday - Report launch attended by Christian MPs and government advisors

Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) launched a report on the global persecution of Christians on Wednesday 23rd October in the House of Commons, and called on the UK government to protect Christian communities.

The report provides an up-to-date overview of attacks against Christians, focusing specifically on twelve countries of concern including Iraq, China, North Korea and India.

At the event, attended by over 100 people, Rehman Chishti, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, talked of the need for international partners to work to ensure freedom of religion.

Launch of report calls on government to tackle the persecution of Christians

By Fionn Shiner


Rehman Chishti said: “What the report Persecuted and Forgotten? highlights is that there is a real issue with regards to freedom of religion where individuals are able to practice their faith openly and freely.

“We need to use our extensive diplomatic relations to ensure that freedom of religion or belief is pushed at every level, so every citizen can practice their faith openly and freely in line with article 18 of the Universal Declaration, which these countries have all signed up to.

“As Special Envoy to the Prime Minister, I've been advocating with partners and diplomats to say you signed up to the universal declaration now we need to put that into practice.”

John Pontifex, head of Press and Information for ACN, called on parliamentarians and MPs to encourage the government to act in the face of such widespread suffering.

He said: “We are asking parliamentarians and MPs to support the early day motion being circulated, which asks people to enable the government and call on them to act on the Bishop of Truro's recommendations which it said it would support to enable action, not just for Christians, but for all minorities.”

He added: “Statements of intent need to be matched by policies of action.”

In a Q&A, chaired by Mike Kane MP (Catholics for Labour), Sister Annie Demerjian, a Catholic from Syria, offered advice to those wondering how they can help persecuted Christians.

She told the audience “don’t change the channel” and discouraged people from looking away from a situation that troubles them.

Sri Lanka’s Father Nishantha Cooray, who ministered to the dying and wounded following the 2019 Easter Day bombings, called for justice for the victims, stressing fears that the perpetrators could “still be at large” and that threat of attack still existed.

The aforementioned early day motion has been tabled, calling on the UK government to honour its commitment to implement the recommendations of the Truro Review. Any MPs wishing to sign the EDM will find it here:  https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/53401/persecution-of-christians.

Due to the effects of Daesh’s genocide, Christianity in Iraq is hanging on by a thread. ACN calls on the UK government to do something to help Iraqi Christians.

Any non-MPs wishing to do something about the persecution of Christians, we ask that you write to your MP and request them to sign it.

Building on the work of Persecuted and Forgotten?, ACN is preparing for #RedWednesday on Wednesday 27th November. Millions of Christians worldwide will congregate in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters.

Last year, the Houses of Parliament, the Colosseum in Rome, and Mary’s Shrine in Washington DC – amongst other landmarks – lit up red.

The persecution of Christians is growing in profile. The Truro Review was a significant boon. Now is the time for tangible political action to relieve the grievous suffering of the faithful all over the world.

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published this page in Articles 2019-11-04 16:19:51 +0000