Plight of persecuted Christians raised in Scottish Parliament

The escalating persecution facing Christians has been discussed by MSPs, as thousands flee their homes in the Middle East.

The Scottish Parliament heard of “horrific pictures” from northern Iraq, where a family of eight were shot in their own home because they would not renounce their Christian faith.

In the debate, held on Wednesday, 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.”


“For the Christian, apathy and abdication are to be replaced by the active pursuit of justice”, he commented.

Thompson, who secured the debate, also highlighted examples of Christian suffering in Sudan and Nigeria.

John Mason, also from the SNP, pointed out that “in many countries, the strongest attacks are often against those who have chosen to change their religion to the Christian faith”.

Labour’s Patricia Ferguson commented that where churchgoers are persecuted, “the right to religious freedom for everyone is in jeopardy”.

Single out

Responding to the debate, Government minister Roseanna Cunningham said that in areas controlled by Islamist militants, “as many as 30,000 people have fled the area around Mosul following the recently published ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population effectively to either convert to Islam or die”.

Christian homes in the area have been painted with an “N”, signifying Nasrani, the Arabic word for Christian, in order to single them out from the rest of the population.

A former Mosul resident told The Independent he was given three days to either convert to Islam, pay a Christian tax or leave.

The Minister agreed to call on the UK Government to raise the profile of the issue at the UN Human Rights Council.