BY Peter Diamond | May 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholic church in Scotland to ‘work with political leaders’ to combat Christian persecution

The Church in Scotland will seek to work with political leaders to combat Christian persecution after a UK government report into the issue revealed the scale of the problem.

An interim report into Christian persecution commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was published on May 3.

It revealed that one third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in some form, with Christians being the most persecuted group.


Church’s ‘shock’

The Church in Scotland described the report as ‘deeply shocking’ and urged people to support the ‘vital work’ of agencies such as Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said: “The severity, scale and scope of Christian persecution revealed in this interim report is deeply shocking.

“It brutally demonstrates that being a Christian in many countries makes men, women and children legitimate targets of violence, abuse and discrimination, sanctioned by the state or other social groups. The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday reflect this disturbing reality.”

“The Church in Scotland will work with political leaders to promote the right of Christians to live their lives free from persecution.”

“The Church also urges people of all faiths and none to support the vital work of agencies such as Aid to the Church in Need which help to rebuild lives, communities and sacred places devastated by wanton violence and destruction.”


Future suggestions

The full report is due to be presented to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt by the end of June and will assess the quality of the response of the FCO to situations of Christian persecution, and make recommendations for changes in both policy and practice.

The key findings from the initial report revealed that in 2016 Christians were targeted in 144 countries, a rise from 125 in 2015.

In response to the report, ACN also highlighted the increasing threat from ‘ultra-nationalism’ in countries such as China and India—growing world powers— as well as from Islamist militia groups.


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