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ICC Note:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has advocated time and again for persecuted Christians across the world. Drawing attention to the need for Western Action, the Archbishop has called out the United Kingdom and the United States, especially with regard to the rise of ISIS. With Boko Haram now being termed “the ISIS of Africa,” will Welby speak specifically to the hardship Africa’s Christians face  more and more each day at the hands of radical Islamic militants?

02/04/2015 Africa (Independent Catholic News) –  The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on politicians, churches and the media to speak out against the ‘creeping climate of fear and animosity’ at the launch of a new partnership to address the growing problem of violence against Christians worldwide.

The Religious Liberty Commission (RLC), launched in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster today, is calling on the British government to intervene to prevent religious cleansing and violent persecution.

The Most Reverend and Rt Hon Justin Welby gave the keynote address at the launch of the RLC at the Palace of Westminster. Highlighting the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, attacks against Jews in Europe and the firebombing of mosques, he told an audience of parliamentarians and church leaders:

‘That quiet creeping removals of freedom that create a climate of fear and animosity is why we must speak out. We must speak out in solidarity. Silence is not an option. Treasuring the dignity of each and every human must mean that we treasure their right to religious belief – even when we profoundly disagree with them.’

The RLC is pressing the Department for International Development to make religious freedom a strategic priority.

It is calling for a special envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to report back on persecution worldwide.

It wants the FCO to produce an annual report to demonstrate the steps taken by the UK Government to promote religious freedom.

The RLC is a Commission of the Evangelical Alliance, comprising Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors UK and Release International. These groups, which have been working for decades to raise awareness of persecution issues, will be collaborating under the banner ‘One voice for the persecuted Church.’

‘A staggering 76 per cent of the world’s population live in countries with high restrictions on religious freedom,’ said Mervyn Thomas, the CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.