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Prime Minister questioned over worldwide Christian persecution

Thu 08 Feb 2018
By Premier Journalist

Theresa May has been challenged to do more for Christians in other countries facing persecution on the basis of their religion.

Michelle Donelan, MP for Chippenham, asked the Prime Minister if part of the international aid budget should be earmarked for Christians suffering persecution.

Speaking during Premier Minister's Questions about the 'horrific persecution' many Christians face, she said: "We need to take action and send a signal to other nations."

 

The Prime Minister answered: "We are working with governments, the international community and the United Nations to support the rights of minorities and to ensure our aid does reach those in need. But we will of course further explore what more support we can give to 'knock' the persecution of religious minorities."

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Theresa May also spoke of a meeting she had recently had with an Iraqi Christian leader: "I was pleased, a matter of weeks ago, to meet Father Daniel from Nineveh who talked about the very real persecution that his congregation were suffering and had suffered in the past.

"He presented me with a Bible which was burnt, which had been rescued, when a church had been set on fire."

The exchange in PMQs comes after the publication of the World Watch List - an in-depth report, which ranks the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

The data from the report comes from information provided by Open Doors and independent experts.

Zoe Smith, a spokesperson for Open Doors UK and Ireland said she was glad the Prime Minister acknowledged the "very real persecution" of Christians around the world.

"We agree with the Prime Minister that more can and must be done to address this and look forward to working with her government as they explore what additional support they can give," she said.

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