Many of you have written to 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.
That is why I am glad the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, has been published. The UK Government is committed to implementing the recommendations from the Bishop of Truro's Review by July 2022.
The recommendations have been divided into short, medium and longer term priorities and Ministers have already implemented a good number of them. This includes recently appointing a Director General level champion for Freedom of Religion or Belief and marking Red Wednesday in support of persecuted Christians and members of other minority groups. I also welcome the appointment of Fiona Bruce MP as the new Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. Some of the recommendations will take longer to implement and many will require an ongoing effort to embed into the working practice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and other Departments.
The World Watch List Report 2021 is an important document, one whose findings on the ongoing persecution of Christians around the world are very concerning. I am glad that the report has praised the UK Government for the many positive advances it has made in the past year, and I know Ministers will pay close attention to the recommendations made on how to further build on these successes going forward.