Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Share

Jeremy Hunt raises plight of persecuted Christians in Easter message

Sat 20 Apr 2019
By Press Association

Jeremy Hunt has used an Easter message to raise the plight of persecuted Christians around the world.

The Foreign Secretary has written 40 letters to Christians, faith groups and leaders to mark the end of Lent.

Mr Hunt said he was "appalled" that 245 million Christians worldwide faced persecution as a result of their faith.

 

Some 300 Christians are killed every month because of their beliefs, the Foreign Office said.

Mr Hunt's first letter was to 90-year-old Dutchman Andrew van der Bijl, who smuggled bibles into the communist Eastern bloc during the Cold War and founded the Open Doors charity.

In his letter to the missionary, known as Brother Andrew, Mr Hunt said: "As a man of faith, free to practise in line with my conscience, I am appalled at the plight of the 245 million Christians worldwide currently facing persecution as a result of their belief.

"I want you to know that the UK stands in solidarity with persecuted Christians around the world."

500k Churches

 

The Foreign Office acknowledged that the UK has not always reflected the suffering of persecuted Christians in its foreign policy.

Mr Hunt has launched a review into the issue, led by the Bishop of Truro the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen.

At the time of the review's launch in January, Mr Hunt suggested that sensitivity around Britain's imperial legacy may have hampered efforts to address the issue.

He said: "We want to - if I can put it this way - banish the hesitation to look into this issue without fear or favour that may exist because of our imperial history, because of concerns that some people might have in linking it with the activities of missionaries in the 19th century, to misguided imperialism."

The Mounstephen review is due to report in the summer.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File

 

Henrietta Blyth, chief executive of Open Doors, said: "I welcome the Foreign Secretary's independent review into the extent of UK Government support for Christians facing persecution for their faith.

"This review is a great first step but the proof of the pudding will be if it delivers concrete change for persecuted Christians and if its recommendations are also adopted by other Government departments."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Daily news direct to your inbox

LIVE 18:00 - 22:00


Contact the show

Telephone and SMS the show when on air

Your News Feed

Stay informed and inform others with up to the minute news from a Christian perspective. 

Daily News email

RSS feeds

News Widgets

You may also like...

The most important celebration in the Christian calendar, Easter... More

It seems like every year the church ties itself in knots over... More

KXC’s debut album captures the worshipping heart of their thriving... More

Given their long history of raising up worship leaders, it’s... More