Release International welcomes recommendations published on July 8 that would give the government teeth to deal with Christian persecution.
The Bishop of Truro’s review makes a number of key recommendations to the government to tackle the growing problem – which include the possibility of imposing sanctions.
The report has been commissioned by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has declared Christians to be ‘the most persecuted religious group in modern times’.
He called on the Bishop of Truro to look into Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) support for persecuted Christians and make recommendations. Release International was one of the key organisations invited to take part in that research.
The Final Review by the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen makes 22 important recommendations that would propel the plight of persecuted Christians to the centre stage of government policy.
Along with the possibility of sanctions, it calls for:
- The UK to aspire ‘to be the global leader in championing freedom of religion and belief’
- Freedom of Religion and Belief to become ‘central to FCO operation and culture’
- To clearly identify ‘Christian discrimination and persecution’
- To establish a Special Envoy for Freedom and Belief ‘with appropriate resources and authority’
- To establish a standard scale to measure persecution
- To set up an early-warning mechanism to prevent genocide and atrocity
- To work to reduce tension and resolve disputes
- And to publicly condemn atrocities
The Chairman of the Release Board, David Armond, said: ‘Release welcomes the report and recommendations, which we hope will be adopted by the government. We commend the Bishop of Truro and his team.
‘We were pleased to be included as a key NGO to support the research phase of this project, and thank Dr Sara Afshari for taking the lead in that. We pray these recommendations will be taken up, and will improve the lives of persecuted Christians worldwide.’
You can download a copy of the Bishop of Truro’s report here
Release has been speaking in the media today about the report. James Maidment-Fullard of Trans World Radio asked Andrew Boyd for Release’s reaction. Click here to listen to the interview.