A religious literacy programme will be rolled out to ensure that civil servants and diplomats are no longer ignorant of the dire threats facing Christians around the world.
Sir Desmond Swayne, a leading Conservative campaigner for religious liberty, said: “This is all part of global Britain… This is us now reaching out with our soft power, using our diplomacy to defend religious freedom.”
The new training package will also give Government staff a crash course in the importance of religion to billions of people – and it may make damaging diplomatic blunders less likely.
There was embarrassment in 2018 when Britain’s most senior diplomat had to apologise for calling one of the holiest Sikh sites a mosque.
Research by the campaigning charity Open Doors suggests the persecution of Christians is getting worse, with “an average of eight Christians” killed for their faith every day last year, and 23 were “raped or sexually harassed for faith-related reasons”. It found North Korea was the country with the worst record on persecution, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan.
How Christian persecution overseas is set to become UK priority
The issue has risen up the Government’s agenda and will be debated by MPs this week.https://t.co/d5O8fMn1xY
— APPG FoRB (@APPGFoRB) February 3, 2020