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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Cardinal welcomes Foreign Secretary’s review of global persecution of Christians

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has welcomed the launch of the independent inquiry into Christian persecution around the world.

The Archbishop of Westminster spoke after a meeting in London with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Anglican Bishop Philip Mountstephen of Truro, who will be leading the investigation.

At the formal launch of the inquiry, Cardinal Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, told the assembled audience that religious faith was becoming increasingly important across the world and pointed to the vitality of Christians as people of hope.

The cardinal also made the point that being a Christian has always involved criticising any abuses of power.

Mr Hunt used Christmas Day to announce the independent review of the global persecution of Christians and how Britain might best respond to it.

He has said that he wanted to know how Britain could make better use of its diplomatic network to encourage countries to provide proper security for minority groups under threat; if Britain was sufficiently generous in offering practical assistance, and if the support provided matched “the scale of the suffering”.

The review, which will conclude by Easter, will also consider if the UK has its “foreign policy priorities right in terms of advocating for and expressing solidarity with” persecuted Christians.

“We must never allow a misguided political correctness to inhibit our response to the persecution of any religious community,” wrote Mr Hunt in an article for the Daily Telegraph.

The latest report from Aid to the Church in Need estimated that 327 million Christians live in nations where they face religious persecution and 178 million in countries where there is discrimination on religious grounds.


(Photo by Simon Caldwell)