Open Doors have estimated that nearly a quarter of a billion people are suffering persecution today because of their Christian faith. Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that four out every five people who suffer for their religious faith are Christians.
The Foreign Secretary has asked the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen to conduct an independent review into the UK's response to the persecution of Christians abroad. The review, which aims to map levels of persecution and other discrimination against Christians in key countries around the world, will provide an objective assessment of the impact and levels of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) support, and make recommendations to the Foreign Secretary.
The FCO has played a major role in bringing together other countries that share our concerns at the ongoing persecution of Christians in order to give a voice to those Christians whose own governments tragically will not. fully support this review and I am hoping that the outcome of this will be that the FCO has a deeper understanding of what it can do better in this arena.
Open Doors have previously been kind enough to facilitate a meeting for me with Christian women who have survived persecution and I was incredibly moved by the experience. I therefore look forward to reading the reports that will be published as a result of the review and I understand that the review will have a strong focus on evidence. Indeed, the consultation will feature a range of sources, including survivors of persecution, in addition to civil society institutions and governmental entities.