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UK steps up to fight Christian persecution in Africa

Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt (born 1 November 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician serving as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since 2018. Courtesy photo.

By Male Marvin

The UK government has raised concern over the ‘dramatic rise in violence’ against Christians in Africa among other countries around the world, in 2018, and ordered an independent review into the plight of persecution

According to Jeremy Hunt, the Britain Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, the independent global review will look at UK’s efforts to help some of the 215 million Christians worldwide, the Foreign Office says faced discrimination and violence last year.

The government said the review would map Christian persecution in key countries across Africa, Middle East, and Asia, provide an objective analysis of the levels of government support and provide recommendations on a cohesive and comprehensive policy response.

“Britain has long championed international religious freedom and the Prime Minister underlined our global leadership on this issue when she appointed my excellent colleague Lord Ahmad as her Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or belief,” Mr Hunt was quoted as saying by The Independent Newspaper in UK on Friday.

“So often the persecution of Christians is a telling early warning sign of the persecution of every minority. Today I have asked the Bishop of Truro to look at how the British Government can better respond to the plight of persecuted Christians around the world,” he explained.

‘We can and must do more, he emphasised.

The officials said there was a ‘dramatic rise in violence’ against followers of the Christian faith, with an average of 250 killed each month last year.

The review will, according to local media sources in UK, be led by the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Reverend Philip Mounstephen, and report back around Easter.

It will ‘consider some tough questions and offer ambitious policy recommendations’ that would allow the UK to offer ‘backing’ to Christians.

Bishop Philip told media that the plight of persecuted Christians is ‘an issue close to my heart’.

“I’ll be taking an objective look at how the British Government can better respond to the pressing plight of persecuted Christians around the world,” he said. 

Open Doors, a non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians, said the most dangerous places for Christians to live in 2018 included North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan. 

The review will have three aims:

– Mapping the persecution of Christians in ‘key countries’ in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

– Provide an ‘objective analysis’ of the level of UK governmental support on offer, and

– Provide recommendations for a ‘cohesive and comprehensive policy response’.

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