David Cameron visited Christian charity Open Doors last week, as the organisation celebrated 60 years of helping persecuted believers.
The Prime Minister visited the charity’s head office in his constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire.
Open Doors was founded by a young Dutch Christian known as Brother Andrew, who started smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s.
Mr Cameron said: “It has been a pleasure to visit Open Doors in Witney today to mark 60 years since they began helping persecuted Christians.”
He added: “It has been humbling to hear the stories of the great courage shown by Christians facing persecution and the wonderful examples of how communities can work together, with the church leading the way.”
The Prime Minister also said that his Government are committed to defending religious freedom:
“Standing up for religious freedom is a priority for my Government. We are committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief as one of the foundations of human rights.”
We are committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief as one of the foundations of human rights.David Cameron
During his visit, Mr Cameron was presented with a New Testament, hand-written by an Egyptian woman during her two years of literacy classes funded by Open Doors.
Chief Executive of the group, Lisa Pearce, said: “In the midst of the current global turmoil, Open Doors is working to support people who suffer for their Christian faith.”
A statement on the Open Doors website highlighted the sheer scale of Christian persecution across the world:
“Each day, hundreds of people are victims of violence because of their belief, churches are destroyed, livelihoods are lost and children are deprived of an education because of their Christian faith.”
Persecuted unto death
Open Doors works in over 65 countries worldwide providing food, medicine, legal support and education as well as Christian literature, resources and training for pastors.
In recent months Christians have been persecuted and killed for their faith in Iraq, Syria, Kenya and Libya among other places.
In February 2015, IS militants released a video showing the beheadings of 21 kidnapped Egyptian Christians in Libya.
And in April, al-Shabaab militants from Somalia attacked a college in Garissa, eastern Kenya. They separated the Muslims from the Christians, and murdered the Christians. 148 people died in the attack.