Theresa May says Britain must 'stand up' for persecuted Christians in Easter message
Theresa May has used her Easter message to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians around the world.
The Prime Minister said the UK "must stand up for the right of everyone, no matter what their religion" to follow their beliefs.
Mrs May, who said she would spend Easter Sunday "giving thanks in church", warned that "for many Christians around the world, such simple acts of faith can bring huge danger".
And she said: "Churches have been attacked. Christians murdered. Families forced to flee their homes.
"That is why the Government has launched a global review into the persecution of Christians.
"We must stand up for the right of everyone, no matter what their religion, to practise their faith in peace."
The message came as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was urged to expand a government review into the worldwide persecution of Christians.
The review, launched in December, is being led by the Bishop of Truro and will look at how the Government can better support those under threat.
According to the Christian group Open Doors, a quarter of a billion Christians face some degree of persecution around the world, with countries including Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya and Somalia particularly affected.
But Conservative MPs David Davies and Gary Street have urged the Foreign Secretary to ensure British examples of marginalisation are also included in the study.
Mr Davies told the Mail on Sunday: "Mr Hunt is quite right to look at the dreadful persecution Christians suffer in some countries – but he should also be mindful that many Christians suffer discrimination in our own country. He should ask the bishop to expand his inquiry."
And Mr Street, who chairs the all-party Christians in Parliament group, said: "Lots of people in authority – judges, police officers, civil servants – don’t understand people who are motivated by faith.
"here’s certainly a case to be made that in the UK we are marginalised."