Pakistan: Christianity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Conservative, Thornbury and Yate

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support Christians on death row in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

It is the British Government's longstanding policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances and in all countries. In Pakistan, we remain deeply concerned by the misuse of blasphemy laws, and that religious minorities, including Christians, are disproportionately affected. The harsh penalties for blasphemy, including the death penalty, add to these concerns.

We regularly raise our human rights concerns with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. My colleague, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of minority religious communities with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister in February 2019.

To ensure the United Kingdom is providing the right levels of support to persecuted Christians overseas, the Foreign Secretary asked the Bishop of Truro, Rt Revd. Philip Mounstephen, to carry out an independent review. The Bishop has submitted his interim report; with the full report due later this year.

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