This week Fiona, in her capacity as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), spoke at the launch of the Open Doors World Watch List 2022.
Over 90 Members of Parliament were in attendance, hearing about the extent of persecution internationally, personal stories from victims of persecution and from Fiona on her role as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for FoRB and as Chair of the International Freedom of Religion or Belief Alliance.
The World Watch List provides an analysis of the top 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution simply for what they believe. This year, their research has shown that the persecution of Christians has reached the highest levels since the World Watch List began nearly 30 years ago. Currently, 360 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith, an increase of 20 million (6%) since 2021.
Fiona said, “I was absolutely horrified, though sadly not surprised to read that the persecution of Christians has reached the highest level since the World Watch List began, with over 360 million individuals suffering high levels of persecution, and that a Christian is killed every two hours somewhere in the world, simply because of what they believe.”
Speaking of how this finding had influenced her work, Fiona said,
“These figures are truly shocking. It makes me even more determined as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief to re-double my efforts to tackle persecution wherever it is found and to work with others like Open Doors whose work is so important in this field”.
Fiona also thanked those who support Open Doors and make their work possible, closing her presentation by saying “Thank you so much for all Open Door’s supporters for all you do, both in prayer, giving and in other practical ways to make Open Doors work possible.”
To find out more about the Open Doors World Watch List visit https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/world-watch-list/.