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Middle East: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 17539, tabled on 24 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2015 to Question 2798, what recent steps he has taken to support Christians who are being persecuted in Middle Eastern countries.

Answered on

1 December 2015

The Government remains deeply concerned about the plight of Christians and other minorities across the Middle East and North Africa. We continue to urge all governments in the region to ensure the protection of all minorities and encourage them to develop inclusive political systems that represent all of their citizens. In Iraq, Syria and Lebanon we are working with religious leaders to support inter-communal cohesion and ensure vulnerable communities have a voice. We have recently launched a project promoting legal and social protection for Freedom of Religion or Belief in Iraq. On 19 November, The Minister of State, my noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Anelay of St Johns and I convened a workshop at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with Non-Governmental Organisations and experts in the field to examine what more Her Majesty's Government might do to practically support Christians and other minorities in the Middle East and protect Freedom of Religion or Belief. Officials are now examining how we might put emerging ideas into practice.