Calls grow for UK Ambassador for Religious Freedom

After reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has backed calls for the UK Government to appoint a Minister for Religious Freedom to compensate for its silence over Christian persecution, Conservative Home has published an article by Paul Goodman headed Cameron should appoint an Ambassador for Religious Freedom.

One tweet urged that it should be a post concerned for Freedom of Religion or Belief – Goodman states that the Foreign Office should focus “on the abuse of all people of faith, not just of Christians – though the Government should certainly take on their maltreatment (by cutting off government-to-government funding where appropriate: for example, to madrassas abroad).”

He concludes “There is much more that Ministers could so. The Government could, as the Canadian Government has done, publish an index of religious freedom. It should certainly hold a summit on the subject: if William Hague can co-chair a global summit on rape as a weapon of war, why shouldn’t his successor chair one on the persecution of religious believers – no less serious a matter? Finally, David Cameron should appoint an Ambassador for Religious Freedom. He has already created a mass of special envoys, and the absence of this one is notable. But since there are already too many swelling the payroll vote, he should look elsewhere. My nomination? Lord Alton – who is not formally a Tory at all.”

Last weekend, the Archbishop of Canterbury also supported a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron from the Bishop of Leeds expressing concern that the Government has no coherent strategy for dealing with Islamic extremism and strongly condemning its failure to speak up for Christians.