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

I agree with both points—not knowing how many people are affected and the fact that we have quite close relationships with some of these countries.

For western Governments to fail to act makes us in many ways complicit in some of these outrages. As the noble Lord Alton has argued many times, failing to stand up to protect minorities simply serves to encourage the persecutors. Lord Alton has often referred to the fact that the world’s indifference made possible the slaughter of 1.5 million Christian Armenians between 1915 and 1917. He makes the point that ignoring some of these atrocities encourages even worse atrocities to be perpetrated in the future; Lord Alton has made that point very powerfully on many occasions.

Against that backdrop, the Bishop of Truro’s work has never been more important, and I fully support his report. The Bishop finds that the persecution and murder of Christians around the world is

“the most shocking abuse of human rights in the modern era.”

In particular, I support the Bishop’s call for a UN resolution stating that those countries that are responsible for tolerating or encouraging the persecution of Christians and religious minorities must instead protect them.