The UK government pledged more protection to persecuted Christians around the world, following the Bishop of Truro’s report on Christian persecution.
Last year, former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt commissioned Rev. Philip Mountstephen to study the extent of Christian persecution abroad and assess the UK government’s response to it. The report included recommendations to help believers who suffer because of their faith, which the UK government announced that it will adopt “in full,” reports The Christian Institute.
We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and we will defend your right to practice your faith. —UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Bishop Mountstephen suggested imposing sanctions to countries violating people’s rights to religious freedom. Minister of state for defense, Baroness Annabel Goldie, said the sanctions are “in response to serious human rights violations or abuses.” The government could freeze assets and ban human rights offenders from entering the UK.
The report suggested 22 detailed recommendations, including mandatory religious literacy training to all Foreign Office staff, new UN Security Council Resolution, and labeling Christophobia on acts of discrimination against Christians.
In his Christmas message, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said many Christians celebrate the occasion “in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell.” He added that, “As Prime Minister, that’s something I want to change. We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and we will defend your right to practice your faith.”
Ayo Adedoyin, Executive Director of PSJ UK (The International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice), lauded the government’s decision, according to The Telegraph.
“It is great news that the new Boris Johnson Government is taking seriously at long last the appalling suffering of Nigerian Christians, who are being brutally targeted by Islamist Fulani militants and Islamic State terrorists,” said Adedoyin.
The Bishop of Truro’s report said Britain donates about $391m in aid to Nigeria. “…it is time to link that to a genuine attempt by Abuja to protect Christians. It is time to stop the silent slaughter of the innocents.”