Persecution of Christians Overseas

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:04 pm on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp Conservative, Croydon South 4:04 pm, 18th July 2019

This afternoon’s debate has been a really excellent one. I would like to pay tribute to all the Members who have contributed to it, but in particular to my hon. Friend Fiona Bruce, and to Jim Shannon for his emotional and powerful contribution earlier. I strongly suspect that the final words of my right hon. Friend Sir Alan Duncan in the Chamber will not be those he has just spoken. I look forward to hearing his words for many years to come.

I strongly welcome the response we have just heard. It is fantastic news that the Government are accepting all the recommendations in the Bishop of Truro’s report, and I am delighted we have heard that announced in the House this afternoon. It is very important that all of us in this House and in the Government take responsibility for protecting and promoting human rights around the world. Just because atrocities are happening across the oceans or across the seas does not make them any less serious. We should never pass by on the other side.

I hope this afternoon’s debate will provide the Government with the motivation to redouble their efforts—not just in adopting the recommendations in the report, but in going further and looking at the ways we can use aid, trade and other tools in the Government’s toolbox to protect the rights of religious minorities, particularly Christians, around the world, where persecution occurs. Today’s debate has been an excellent one, and I hope action results. Once again, I thank everybody for participating in it.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
deplores the persecution of Christians overseas;
supports freedom of religion or belief in all countries throughout the world;
welcomes the work undertaken by the Bishop of Truro in this area;
and calls on the Government to do more with the diplomatic and other tools at its disposal to prevail on the governments of countries in which persecution of Christians is tolerated or encouraged to end that persecution and to protect the right to freedom of religion or belief.