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Covid-19: Persecution of Christians

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 21 January 2021

What steps the Church of England is taking across the worldwide Anglican Communion to tackle the persecution of Christians during the covid-19 pandemic. (911091)

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for being one of three Members today to raise this vitally important issue. The Church is grateful for the Government’s continuing commitment to implement the Bishop of Truro’s recommendations on this issue. In this week of prayer for Christian unity, we need to be especially mindful of persecuted Christians all around the world.

What discussions has the Church of England had with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to ensure that covid-19 international assistance aid reaches all in need and is not abused by discrimination against Christians, which has appallingly occurred in some countries?

Last year, officials from the Church had regular meetings with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office—both Ministers and staff—where concerns were raised that covid-19 was being politicised and that minority communities were indeed being discriminated against. Bishops regularly raise this issue in the other place as well, and I can assure my hon. Friend that the Church will continue to engage with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as the need arises.