Politicians fail to speak out against attacks on Christians around the world because of a “misplaced sense of political correctness”, a leading Labour MP has warned.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said that “anti-Christian persecution must be named for the evil that it is”.
According to the International Society for Human Rights, churchgoers are subjected to 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination.
Alexander said: “In the face of persecution on this scale, neither ignorance nor fear of offence can be an excuse for standing by on the other side in silence”.
He accused UK leaders of bowing under pressure saying, “at this time of great peril, I deeply regret that the British Government seems to be stepping back, rather than stepping up”.
Referring to the plight of Christians under attack from jihadists fighting with Islamic State and women being abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alexander added: “It is simply wrong for any faith to be persecuted”.
He stressed that the UK is opposing the persecution of Christians but argued that it must take a stronger line, like other countries.
“Other governments are showing stronger leadership”, he added: “The United States and Canada have both appointed international ambassadors for tackling Religious Persecution. The UK, having fallen behind, should now follow suit.”
In the run up to the next General Election, the Shadow Foreign Secretary pledged that a Labour Government would “appoint a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom”.
Plight of Christians
In August, the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East was discussed in the Scottish Parliament.
In the debate Dave Thompson from the SNP quoted Proverbs 31:8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Labour’s Patricia Ferguson commented that where churchgoers are persecuted, “the right to religious freedom for everyone is in jeopardy”.