Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Do Christians have human rights too?

Yesterday I wrote on this blog about Open Doors' World Watch List of countries where the persecution of Christians is the most severe.

A blogger at God and Politics in the UK decided to investigate how much the British Government paid to those countries in international aid. The UK Department for International Development website shows that in a year £146million was paid, for instance, to Afghanistan, £101million to Somalia, £162million to Nigeria, £212million to Pakistan, £324million to Ethiopia, £139million to Tanzania and £284million to India. All those countries appear on the list.

The writer says that the UK Government has the potential to exert huge pressure on some of these countries over the persecution of Christians if it chose to do so.

On the occasion of a conference promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief for all, the UK Government said: "Promoting the right of freedom of religion or belief is a key human rights priority for the British Government. Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief is one of the fundamental freedoms that underpins other human rights and is a key building block of any democracy."

Some months ago it was reported that Prime Minister David Cameron had threatened to withhold UK aid from governments which continued to ban homosexuality. He said those receiving UK aid should "adhere to proper human rights" and that "British aid should have more strings attached."

I am not personally aware of any similar threat with regard to the treatment of Christians. Are Christians of less worth than homosexuals?

I have written to Mr Cameron as follows:

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP,
10 Downing Street,
London SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister,

Some months ago you were reported as having threatened to withhold UK aid from governments which continued to ban homosexuality, saying that those receiving UK aid should adhere to proper human rights and that British aid should have more strings attached.

Countries like Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and India, all of them recipients of generous UK aid, are also countries where Christians are severely persecuted.

Would you please use your good offices to alleviate the severe persecution of Christians in these lands?

Yours sincerely,

Would you like to write to Mr Cameron too? His address is above. Trying to write to him by e-mail is not recommended.