In the last year, the Church of England has been promoting a range of new social media projects. For example, 750,000 people watched the “Joy to the World” videos—among them, Mr Speaker, was your chaplain, which is perhaps cause alone to share a piece of birthday cake with her today. The Church is also engaging over other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.
It is merely four years since the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer, and I am delighted to be able to reassure my hon. Friend that the service of evensong is showing significant growth, including, interestingly enough, among students and young professionals. Obviously, every church can now easily broadcast its services over the internet, and clearly evensong and the Book of Common Prayer find a place in our society today.
Many constituents have written to me concerned about religious persecution around the world. Does the right hon. Lady agree that digital and social media, through their very interconnectedness, offer an opportunity to promote interfaith tolerance?
I could not agree more. The digital world opens the world to our own eyes, and we become aware of the suffering of those who are being persecuted for their faith, which is something that our country stands up to combat. The Church will play its role in making more of us aware of religious persecution and seeing what we can do in action and prayer to combat it.