Speaking in the House of Commons today, Fiona Bruce raised the following during Church Commissioners Questions:
"Some 83% of the world’s population live in countries where freedom of religion or belief is not adequately respected. This freedom is essential for societies to secure democratic freedoms, economic development and peace, yet many people, including young people, are unaware of its importance. What is the Church of England doing to help to educate young people about the importance of freedom of religion or belief for all?
Responding to Fiona's question, Andrew Selous MP, the Second Church Estates Commissioner said,
"It is a great pleasure to reply to my hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s new envoy for freedom of religion or belief. The Church of England strongly supports educating young people to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for everyone globally. We are working with schools in the Gambia and, indeed, in Pakistan and Bangladesh to do exactly that, to help young people be advocates for freedom of religion or belief in their schools, families and communities."
Fiona's question was raised within the wider context of what representations the Church of England is making in countries where people are persecuted for their faith or belief. Outlining the work the Church of England is undertaking, Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, told Parliament:
"The Church of England has regular meetings with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office about countries where people are persecuted for their faith or belief, so that our Government can raise these vital issues with the Governments of the countries concerned. The Church also engages with our heads of mission, civil society groups and, where possible, with the foreign Governments in question."