Persecution of Christians Overseas

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:16 pm on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp Conservative, Croydon South 2:16 pm, 18th July 2019

The hon. Lady is right. Of course, the first place that we should champion and protect religious freedom is here in the United Kingdom; that is of course our first duty as Members of Parliament, but let us not forget the duty we also owe to persecuted minorities around the world—to stand up and protect them as well.

In Saudi Arabia public places of Christian worship are banned. There are regular crackdowns and raids on private Christian ceremonies, and Christians in Saudi Arabia are regularly imprisoned. Saudi Arabian schools use textbooks that teach hatred against Christians and Jews, and the country’s Grand Mufti recently said that Christianity is not a religion.

Christians are often a target for religious extremists. The terrible attack in Sri Lanka at Easter this year saw 259 people murdered by Islamist extremists, and on Palm Sunday in Egypt in 2017 ISIS bombers murdered 45 Coptic Christians. In Pakistan the year before, again at Easter, the Taliban murdered 75 Christians. These are just a few of the terrible examples of the persecution and murder that Christians around the world are suffering.