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Philippines: Christianity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Phillipines on the steps being taken to support an end to violence against Christians in that country.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The Philippines is an overwhelmingly Catholic country and incidents of violence against Christians based on their faith are rare. The British Embassy in Manila takes every opportunity to promote our values including human rights and freedom of expression. This includes regular dialogue with the Philippine Government.

My Hon Friend, the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, Richard Graham MP, raised these issues with senior members of the Philippines Government during a recent visit to Manila. They were also raised at the UK - Philippines High Level talks that took place in November 2018.

The Foreign Secretary and I publicly condemned the terror attack on the Catholic Cathedral on the island of Jolo on 27 January. The UK believes places of religious worship are sites for peace and reflection.

In January 2019 the UK launched its review into what more the Foreign and Commonwealth Office network can do to support religious freedoms for Christians around the world.

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