• Kirsten

Christians in Central Africa

I speak out often on issues of freedom of religion and belief, including those who hold no religious belief. People should always have that freedom to worship, or not, as they choose, without fear of exclusion or persecution.


Christians in Central Africa are routinely, and horribly persecuted for their faith, and in particular women in that part of the world are doubly vulnerable being subject to abuse and far worse because of their gender as well as their religion.


The advocacy group, Open Doors, does important work tracking religious persecution, and I am a member of the cross party APPG on Freedom of Religion and Belief, where this is also a focus.


The UK Government must be far more alive to these issues when they are negotiating trade deals - this is a live issue, fo instance in relation to Cameroon. They also need to wake up to the impact, again, particularly for women in religious minority communities, of aid cuts, because the most marginalised and most vulnerable are suffering the most.


I covered these points in a debate recently, and I think it is fair to say there was a significant frustration on all sids at the tin-eared approach of the UK Government on this issue.