Thank you for contacting me about the persecution of Christians.
The UK has always championed freedom of religion or belief for everyone. As a country that has always been a beacon for freedom and tolerance, I passionately believe the UK should not shirk its responsibilities.
That is why I am glad the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, has been published. The UK Government is committed to implementing the recommendations from the Bishop of Truro's Review.
The recommendations have been divided into short, medium and longer term priorities and Ministers have already implemented a good number of them. This includes recently appointing a Director General level champion for Freedom of Religion or Belief and marking Red Wednesday in support of persecuted Christians and members of other minority groups. Some of the recommendations will take longer to implement and many will require an ongoing effort to embed into the working practice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and other Departments.
The Bishop of Truro's independent Review recommended that the UK establishes permanently, and in perpetuity, the role of Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. As I have mentioned, the Government is committed to implementing the report's recommendations. The choice of Special Envoy is a decision for the Prime Minister, which I expect to be taken as quickly as possible in the current circumstances and which I will be following closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.