MPs Debate Gender-Specific Religious Persecution
Persecution of Christian Women & Girls An Ongoing Problem
MPs debated the ongoing problem of the persecution of Christian women and girls on 17 March.
Northern Ireland MP, Jim Shannon (DUP) spoke first. He said, “the hidden, violent and complex persecution faced by millions of Christian women and girls, as noted in the Open Doors report, is often overlooked by the relevant authorities”
He then gave specific examples of gender-specific persecution in countries such as Afghanistan and Nigeria. The practice of forced marriage is used to victimise women, their families, and the Christian community.
Fiona Bruce MP and the PM’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or belief also spoke during the debate.
She said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that the factors that result in religious persecution against women are many and complex, and we all, including those of us who work on freedom of religion or belief much of the time, need to better understand those factors.”
Labour MP, Sarah Owen requested updates from the government as to what it is doing to support persecuted women from religious minorities in Nigeria and Afghanistan.
MP Shannon quoted from 1 Peter 2:16 in closing the debate, ““Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil, but living as servants of God.”