Henry Smith MP has attended the launch of the 2016 World Watch List, organised by Open Doors, in Parliament on Wednesday, 13th January.
“I was very pleased to attend the launch of Open Doors’ World Watch List 2016 – it is essential that the Parliament of the United Kingdom stands up for the freedom of religion around the world.
“It was moving to hear from Open Doors partners about the persecution that Christians are facing, including at the hands of Daesh in Iraq.
“Some of these Christians have not only lost their homes, but their clothes and their jobs as well. Open Doors partners are helping people and this includes providing micro-loans to help people start small businesses and ‘get some dignity back’.
“I continue to support Open Doors and their steadfast continuing commitment to stand up for the rights of Christians around the world.
The parliamentary launch of ‘Freedom of Religion and the Persecution of Christians: The Open Doors Report 2016’ was attended by more than 100 Members of Parliament, including, Rt Hon Desmond Swayne TD MP, and the event’s host, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Parliamentarians present heard from an Open Doors partner who shared her experiences of working with women who had been brutalised by Islamic extremists.
She spoke of one woman who had experienced horrific abuse, who continued referring to the fact that her earrings had been taken away. She realised that while not as awful as other abuses, the taking of the earrings represented the beauty and dignity of this woman, which had been taken from her.
“The day after this launch, the Leader of the House of Commons reaffirmed our country’s commitment to the freedom of religion – no one should be persecuted for their religious beliefs.
“As the Leader of the House said, the United Kingdom, as a beacon of liberal democracy, must stand up for them.”
Open Doors UK