Alastair Grant/PA Wire

Jeremy Hunt tells Premier what he's going to enact first to help persecuted Christians

Mon 08 Jul 2019
By Cara Bentley

The Foreign Secretary has told Premier where he wants start when it comes to dealing with the persecution of Christians, whether he remains Foreign Secretary or becomes Prime Minister. 

Speaking at the Foreign Office at the launch of the report into the persecution of Christians around the world, which the Conservative leadership candidate commissioned in December, Jeremy Hunt said his priority will be working with countries whom Britain already has strong relationships with. 

Mr Hunt explained: "First, I think it is to make sure that countries that we have a strong political relationship and a strong aid relationship with - where we know that there is bigotry, persecution, suffering of Christians - that we use Bristian's diplomatic clout to make sure that freedom of religious belief, and particularly the plight of Christians, is higher on the political agenda.

"If you look at the Open Doors report on countries like Afghanistan, Libya, in particular, also Sudan, Somalia, North Korea - but if you take the first two of those, I've already had the chance to have discussions about religious freedom with the leaders of those two countries and I think that is in part because of the understanding that has been created by Bishop Philip's report."


When asked why they have decided to give Christian discrimination a name and definition, 'Christophobia', Mr Hunt replied: "Well, we had a debate about, quite a lot of debate actually - about what term to use and I think we do need a term because we need to recognise that there is a specific Christian-related issue that goes beyond the championing of freedom and religious belief that we have always espoused in this building. So, that's why we decided to adopt that term."

Bishop Philip Mountstephen added: "It certainly was a recommendation of ours that the phenomena should be researched and named and I think that's very important. This is a phenomenon that needs to be understood and the kind of the vague understanding that is out there, I think that needs to be captured, researched, properly understood and indeed named."

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