World Watch List

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons am ar 22 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Ceidwadwyr, Congleton

What steps the Church is taking to support Anglican churches in countries listed in the World Watch List 2024.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Through the sister Churches of our communion and our linked missionary societies, the Church of England continues to provide both prayerful support and practical assistance to all parts of the Anglican communion where freedom of religion or belief is threatened or impaired. The Church works with our Government, other Governments around the world, and multilateral bodies such as the United Nations to advocate forcefully for freedom of religion or belief.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Ceidwadwyr, Congleton

Following the implementation of much of the groundbreaking Truro review, the UK is now seen as a global leader on religious freedom. However, sadly, persecution is exponentially increasing across the world, so we need to embed that work. Does my hon. Friend agree that, like Governments, religious leaders need to commit to strategic thinking, structural change and the provision of additional resources if together we are to effectively tackle this global scourge?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Indeed I do. On embedding that work, it is good news that my hon. Friend’s International Freedom of Religion or Belief Bill had a successful Second Reading in this House on 26 January, and that it goes to Committee in April. I am glad that the Bill is strongly supported by the Foreign Secretary, and that the Bishop of Winchester has offered to take it forward in the other place; of course, he was the person who wrote the original report. However, my hon. Friend’s challenge is fair. As our Government step up on this global challenge, the Church of England and the Anglican communion need to as well. I will pass her remarks back to Lambeth Palace.