Faith and Gender

Thank you for contacting me about the persecution of Christians.

The UK has always championed freedom of religion or belief for everyone. As a country that has always been a beacon for freedom and tolerance, I believe the UK should not shirk its responsibilities.

I am glad the Government has committed to implementing the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review of UK support for persecuted Christians by 2022. The Government has committed to implementing the Bishop’s 22 recommendations in full, and work continues to implement them in a way that will bring real improvements in the lives of those persecuted because of their faith or belief.  Of the 22 recommendations, the UK has fully delivered 10, made good progress on a further 8, and Ministers are confident that all 22 will be delivered by the time of the independent review in 2022.

I also welcome the recent appointment of Fiona Bruce MP as the PM's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. The UK remains concerned about global levels of intolerance, discrimination and persecution of people because of their religious belief and has rightly stepped up its focus on this issue over the last few years.

Christian women are more likely than men to be victims of discrimination and persecution. I understand that the Government acknowledges this and that human rights policy work already considers the intersectionality of human rights. Last year, the UK joined the International Religious Freedoms Alliance and Ministers have explained that the UK will use our membership to highlight the importance of considering the intersectionality of human rights.

I note the comments in the Open Doors report. I know that the Government works with a large number of NGOs, including Open Doors, to help protect freedom of religion or belief.