News
13 March 2020

MPs sign pledge for persecuted women - your voice makes a difference!

Thanks to you, ten MPs have signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament based on Open Doors' pledge for persecuted women!


13 March 2020

Many of you have contacted your MP about Open Doors’ pledge for persecuted women. Thanks to you, ten MPs have since signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament based on the pledge! Within the pledge is a longer policy brief, which is quoted as the motion’s recommendations – this is very encouraging.

Specifically, the motion calls on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development to recognise the double vulnerability of women from religious minority communities, and urges the UK government to:

  • Include targeted programming and aid for women who face double vulnerabilities as members of minority faith communities
  • Include religion as a factor of vulnerability in any assessment made in planning and programming
  • Ensure that sensitivity relating to the international right to freedom of religion or belief is integrated into gender-related and anti-discrimination programmes.

Praise God that we have seen the influence of Open Doors’ pledge for persecuted Christian women so quickly, and please pray that these MPs would take their commitment further.

“The UK defends the full range of human rights”

Additionally, there was a debate on Thursday 12 March in Parliament about freedom of religion or belief. The following three quotes from MPs particularly stood out:

Jim Shannon MP

“The problems we were to discuss back in November have not gone away, and in some cases they have gotten even worse. For example, in January, I had the privilege of attending the launch of Open Doors’ World Watch List report, which highlights the persecution faced by Christians around the world. That report paints a grim picture of a worsening situation for Christians, with 260 million — an increase of 15 million since 2019 — living in countries where there is a risk of high, very high or extreme levels of persecution. The report cites many other concerning statistics, such as 5,500 churches shut down in China over the past year, and at least 1,445 physical attacks and death threats against Christians in India during 2019.”

Fabian Hamilton MP

“In 2020, 260 million people — approximately ten per cent of all Christians in the world — were persecuted for their religious beliefs, which was an increase from 245 million in 2019, and approximately 215 million in 2018. According to Open Doors, 11 countries now fall in the “extreme” category for levels of persecution of Christians. That is up from just one country, North Korea, in 2014 — just six years ago. The World Watch List estimates that last year, 2,093 Christians were killed just for being Christian. Christian persecution is more prevalent in Muslim majority countries, especially those governed by some form of Sharia [law].”

Nigel Adams MP (Minister for Asia)

“The hon. Member asked how we are helping women from minority faith groups who suffer from double persecution. We acknowledge the double vulnerability facing women from minority religious communities. Our human rights policy work considers the intersectionality of human rights, and the UK defends the full range of human rights as set out in the universal declaration of human rights.”

Order the World Watch List 2020: Top 50 Guide and discover the places where following Jesus costs the most.

Thank you so much for all that you are doing to raise awareness for the persecuted church in Parliament by speaking to your MPs! Please continue to pray that the stories of courageous faith would change hearts and have a huge impact on international policies, especially those regarding freedom of religion or belief.


PLEASE PRAY

Lord Jesus, please protect our brothers and sisters in Myanmar. We pray for an end to conflict and displacement, and that Christians would be able to return to their communities and worship together in freedom. Please give them opportunities to share their faith with their neighbours. Amen.

Write to Indian Children

Children in Christian families often face discrimination, exclusion and even violence. Children who attend church might be ostracised by their Hindu family. Receiving messages from the worldwide church can make a huge difference – can you and your family send them encouragement?

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