Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, has been announced as the new Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Fiona Bruce has been appointed the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). She is currently the vice-chair of the All-Party Group for FoRB, as well as Conversative MP for Congleton. Bruce has long been a supporter of the work of Open Doors, including attending the World Watch List parliamentary launch, visiting an Open Doors exhibition highlighting the plight of Yezidi women in Iraq, and regularly raising the issue of persecuted believers to the House of Commons.
Speaking on her appointment, Fiona Bruce said: “There is much to do, and my post will be placed at the service of some of the most vulnerable people across the world.
“This appointment comes in the light of continuing large scale horrors taking place – such as those against Uighur Muslims in China, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Yazidis in Iraq and at a time when, as the late and much respected former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks stated, ‘the persecution of Christians throughout much of the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and elsewhere, is one of the crimes against humanity of our time’. These are some of the most deeply concerning issues of our generation, on which it will be a privilege to engage as Special Envoy, both nationally and internationally, with others similarly concerned.”
Fiona Bruce, speaking at the 2017 launch of Open Doors' World Watch List
Bruce continued: “Having travelled to countries such as Burma, Nigeria and Nepal and heard first-hand accounts of atrocities and persecution being meted out there, I know how much those who are suffering from this appreciate advocacy on their behalf, even from afar.
“As the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, I look forward to working further with Parliamentarians and NGOs on behalf of those persecuted for their faith or beliefs across the world. I pay tribute to the dedicated work on this issue of many Parliamentarians and others, and hope to build on their work to further raise the profile of FoRB as a human right. For as the Prime Minister said recently in the House of Commons, ‘We all know that wherever freedom of belief is under attack, other human rights are under attack as well’.”
“We are thrilled that a new special envoy has been appointed. And we are delighted that it is Fiona Bruce - she has been a friend of Open Doors through the years and is a real champion for freedom of religion and belief,” says Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland.
“Freedom of religion and belief affects all religious groups and it’s great to see that the Government is open to appointing members of all religions to the role. Rehman Chishti MP was very energetic in pursuing the recommendations from the Bishop of Truro’s report to support persecuted Christians and we look forward to continuing our work on this with Fiona.”
And don't forget, you can invite your MP to attend the Parliamentary launch of Open Doors' World Watch List on 13 January 2021 - see below. It's a wonderful opportunity to ensure that those in power hear first-hand from the persecuted church.
If you haven't yet, please ask your MP to attend the World Watch List launch on 13 January 2021. It's a crucial opportunity for decision makers to hear first-hand from the persecuted church - you can make a real difference by getting in touch.
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