Crawley MP reaffirms support for Christian Charity

Henry Smith MP has spoken in the House of Commons in support of Open Doors, an organisation committed to supporting persecuted Christians in parts of the world who do not have the freedom of religion enjoyed in the UK.


Henry said;

“Having visited Iraq last year it is striking to learn more about the work of Open Doors, as I have done during a number of events I’ve attended in the House of Commons in recent years.

“Watching pictures of the liberation of Mosul in Iraq from Daesh control has been particularly poignant. Last year I spent some time with Kurdish Peshmerga troops, and this gave me a greater insight into the horrors of the so-called Islamic State.

“More recently I read an Open Doors update from Erbil, the region of Kurdistan I visited, where Christians “are now glued to their televisions, phones and computer screens, trying to get all the latest updates on the battle and on the status of their villages.”

“In Crawley we often hear churchbells from places of worship across the community. The Iraqi town of Bartella recently heard these sounds for the first time since Daesh took control in 2014.

“Many of the people supported by Open Doors have not only lost their religious freedoms, but their homes as well; a reality difficult for many of us to comprehend.

“I’ll continue to support Open Doors and the work they do to stand up for freedom of religion throughout the world.”


Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley, asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner;

“What recent representations the Church of England has received on the persecution of Christians overseas.”


The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, responded;

“The Church of England remains concerned about a number of religious minorities across the world, not just Christian ones. Recently, the Lord Bishop of Coventry travelled to northern Iraq to visit the Christians in Mosul because it is clear that questions remain about their continued safety and the need to make their homes and businesses safe if they are to sustain themselves there.”


Henry Smith MP followed up;

“Will my right hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to the Open Doors organisation, which does so much to raise awareness of the persecution of Christians around the world and often courageously defends communities?”


The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, responded;

“Yes. There are a number of excellent organisations such as Open Doors, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Aid to the Church in Need which are working to support the Christian community overseas. I plan to attend a reception for the launch of the 2017 World Watch List in January, and I encourage hon. Members also to attend.”


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