Persecution of Christians Overseas

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Labour, Newport West 2:38 pm, 18th July 2019

It is a pleasure to be able to speak in the debate on this important issue. I would like to start, as others have done, by paying tribute to the Bishop of Truro for his important and wide-ranging report. It not only highlights many issues that we need to think about but points to how we might build a better and more tolerant world for all of us. Although I do not subscribe to the Foreign Secretary’s newfound views on Britain leaving the European Union with no deal, I do thank him for establishing the independent review into the extent and nature of the global persecution of Christians and committing to assess the quality of the response from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Government more generally.

Since April this year, I have had the good fortune and immense honour to represent my home and my community in Newport West. It is one of the most diverse and multicultural parts of Wales, and people from all communities and all cultures are able to practise and embrace their faiths there. I know that colleagues across the House believe in the importance of all communities and all people having the chance to do that right across the world, too. I thank the Bishop for making it very clear at the outset that this review is not about pitting one faith against another or about legitimising the hatred and loathing of Islam or Judaism. This is about ensuring that all our faiths are respected, and that all those who practise are free to do so safely and peacefully.