Persecution of Christians Overseas

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:25 pm on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton 3:25 pm, 18th July 2019

Jim Shannon has an enormous heart and often speaks from it. I admire, respect and have affection for him.

I welcome the final report of the Bishop of Truro and thank him for it. I commend the depth of research in it. I want to speak rather technically about some of the recommendations, but before that—and more briefly than I would have liked—I want to affirm what colleagues have said. It is so important to protect the right to freedom of religion or belief; when it is encroached on, that so often also involves the violation of other human rights, including the right to life, the right to be free from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, the right to freedom of assembly or association, the right to freedom of expression and many more.

That recognition must be clearly visible in the strategy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Protecting the right of freedom of religion and belief is so important because its violation is often the root cause of so many other human rights violations across the world, as we have heard today.