To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, published in June 2019, what assessment they have made of reports (1) of churches being burned down, and (2) of Christians being attacked, in northern Mozambique; and what discussions they have had, if any, with the Bishop of Pemba in northern Mozambique about such reports.
23 July 2020
We remain deeply concerned at the scale of Freedom of Religion or Belief violations in many parts of the world. We recognise that people's religion and gender can increase their vulnerabilities, particularly those from minority groups. The Government has committed to implementing the Bishop of Truro's 22 recommendations in full. This work is being overseen by the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Rehman Chishti MP. 11 of the recommendations have already been implemented, or are in the process of being implemented. Work is ongoing to implement all the recommendations in a way that will bring real improvements to the lives of those persecuted because of their faith, belief, or because they have no religious belief
We are aware that homes and commercial buildings have been targeted by groups with links to Islamic extremism in certain areas of northern Mozambique, particularly in the coastal town of Mocimboa da Praia on 23 March. The insurgents have attacked and terrorised all the peoples of Cabo Delgado, irrespective of their beliefs. The UK strongly condemns any targeting of civilians by insurgent groups, regardless of their religion.
The British High Commission hopes to reinstate a planned visit to Cabo Delgado to meet all faith leaders including the Bishop of Pemba as soon as possible once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so.