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Persecution of Christians Overseas

Volume 716: debated on Thursday 23 June 2022

1. What steps the Church is taking to support the implementation of recommendations in the final report of the Bishop of Truro’s review on persecution of Christians overseas. (900659)

The murder of 50 Catholics in church this month in Ondo state in Nigeria and the ongoing murders for alleged blasphemy are a stark reminder of why the Church of England stands foursquare behind the implementation of the Bishop of Truro’s review.

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s response but the independent review of progress on Truro is due now, as required by recommendation 22. Will he join me in pressing for that? Does he agree that, whatever it says, there will be more work to do on the Truro recommendations and that that must continue as the problem of persecution across the world is getting worse? This year’s Open Doors world watch list indicates that 20 million more Christians than a year ago will be highly persecuted and that across the world a Christian is killed every two hours for their faith.

That is absolutely right, and the situation does indeed continue to get worse, not better, with over 4,000 Christians murdered for their faith last year. To end the work of the Truro review now would be unthinkable. Recommendation 6 calls for the establishment of the special envoy role permanently and in perpetuity, as for example in the United States of America, and the Church of England supports the full and ongoing implementation of recommendation 6.