A CALL for action to be taken against persecution of Christians across the world has been backed by a Newport MP.

Newport West's Ruth Jones spoke in Parliament earlier this week in support of a report into persecution of Christians, which said the UK Government had often been "blind to this issue".

The report by the Bishop of Truro the Rt Rev Philip Mountstephen was ordered by foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and said 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination - ranging from employment and education issues to "genocidal attacks" - were committed against Christians.

And, speaking during a debate on the issue in Parliament earlier this week, Labour MP Mrs Jones said the issue was "an increasing concern to me and to many of my constituents".

"We must, as the Bishop notes, recognise that this is not a western problem, that many of the poorest in our world are Christians, and that they need our solidarity and support," she said.


"It is easy to brush this off, but there are people living in fear, people living with often devastating consequences and people who need the British government to stand up for them.

"This need to stand with them is why it is so important that the British government get to grips with this.​"

She added: "We must ensure that civil society plays its role in shaping views and protecting minorities.

"We have seen what happened with the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and with the Christians in the Middle East and other places.

"The British government can and should become a leader in defending freedom of expression and of faith too."

In his report the Bishop said: "There is a sense that for a number of reasons we have been blind to this issue - and those reasons would certainly include post-colonial guilt, a sense that we have interfered uninvited in certain contexts in the past so we should not do so again."

He also recommended the UK should adopt an official definition of anti-Christian discrimination and that Foreign Office staff should undergo religious training.

Responding to the report when it was released earlier this month, Mr Hunt said: "I am not convinced that our efforts on behalf of Christians have always matched the scale of the problem, or indeed have reflected the evidence that it is Christians who frequently endure the heaviest burden of persecution."

He added: "As a country that has always been a beacon for freedom and tolerance, the United Kingdom will not shirk its responsibilities and I am determined we will look up to them."