ENGLAND – U.K. considers linking foreign aid to persecution of Christians

WND.com | Apr. 6, 2019

The United Kingdom’s foreign secretary is urging Parliament to withhold aid to nations in which Christians are persecuted.

“I think we should do more for the estimated 240 million Christians who face persecution for their faith around the world,” Jeremy Hunt told members of parliament.

The U.K.’s foreign aid budget in 2017 was about $18 billion.

Hunt, responding to questions from lawmakers, said an ongoing review will ensure the U.K. is pressuring nations in which Christians are persecuted.

“Where the U.K. makes large aid payments, such as in Afghanistan,” he said, “it is absolutely essential that we make it clear to the government in those countries that we are expecting progress on freedom of religious belief.”

The review, led by Philip Mounstephen, the bishop of Truro, monitors persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The review will assess how much support the U.K. currently provides and recommend how government ministers should respond.

Hunt cited the worldwide Christian group Open Doors’ estimate that more than 4,300 Christians were killed because of their faith over the last year.

The U.K.’s Christian Institute said the real figure probably is much higher, as friends and relatives of victims often are afraid to report incidents.