Egypt: Christianity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of Coptic Christian families in Egypt who have been forced to flee North Sinai province following a number of killings in recent weeks by suspected Islamist militants; and what representations they have made to the government of Egypt about those reports.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

We deplore all discrimination against religious minorities and constraints on their freedom to practise their faith. The Egyptian constitution contains protections for freedom of religious belief and it is important that these rights are respected.

The UK Government continues to work closely with the Egyptian authorities on security and counter-terrorism, including through training Egyptian officers who operate in areas such as North Sinai to counter improvised explosive devices used by Islamist militants.

We have regularly raised our concerns about the deterioration in the human rights situation with the Egyptian Government, including issues affecting Christians. We have also raised our broader concerns around the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, which are essential to improving the protection of freedom of religious belief in Egypt.

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