Freedom of Religion and Belief in Nigeria — [Ian Paisley in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 6 February 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 9:30, 6 February 2024

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered freedom of religion and belief in Nigeria.

I thank the Backbench Business Committee for selecting the motion. This subject is close to my heart. I visited Nigeria the year before last with the all-party parliamentary group for international freedom of religion or belief. I declare an interest as chair of that group. We speak for those with Christian belief, those with other beliefs and those with no beliefs, because we genuinely believe, as I know you do, Mr Paisley, in the love that our God has for others and the importance of reaching out across the world, where many obscene, difficult and heartbreaking things are happening, to speak up for human rights and to be a voice for the voiceless—those who have no one to speak for them. We will try to put forward that voice in this House in a constructive and positive way.

The debate was requested, and the Backbench Business Committee agreed to it, primarily because, at Christmas last year, almost 200 Christians were murdered because of their beliefs. They were attacked, murdered and abused by Fulani tribesmen. Those who were able to do so fled into the forest. Their houses and churches were destroyed and their property was taken. Those events were massive and really worrying.