Fiona Bruce MP appointed as new Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief

December 20, 2020

Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, has been appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP as his Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Speaking on her appointment Fiona Bruce said

I am honoured to be given this opportunity to serve as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. There is much to do, and my post will be placed at the service of some of the most vulnerable people across the world. 

This appointment comes in the light of continuing large scale horrors taking place – such as those against Uighur Muslims in China, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Yazidis in Iraq and at a time when, as the late and much respected former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks stated “the persecution of Christians throughout much of the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and elsewhere, is one of the crimes against humanity of our time.” These are some of the most deeply concerning issues of our generation, on which it will be a privilege to engage as Special Envoy, both nationally and internationally, with others similarly concerned.”

Fiona Bruce continued,

Having travelled to countries such as Burma, Nigeria and Nepal and heard first hand accounts of atrocities and persecution being meted out there, I know how much those who are suffering from this appreciate advocacy on their behalf, even from afar. 

The role of Special Envoy for FoRB is based upon Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a founder member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a signatory to that APPG’s first report of 2013 – which described Article 18 as an “orphaned right,” – I believe it is time to bring the orphan out of the orphanage.

As the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, I look forward to continuing to work alongside colleagues in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and pay tribute to their dedicated work , and that of others, on behalf of some of the most persecuted, vulnerable and afflicted on earth. I hope to build on this work to further raise the profile of FoRB as a human right. For as Boris Johnson MP the Prime Minister said recently in the House of Commons “We all know that wherever freedom of belief is under attack, other human rights are under attack as well.”

In 2010 Fiona became Member of Parliament for Congleton. Prior to 2010 Fiona practised as a solicitor, setting up her own business, the law firm Fiona Bruce & Co LLP, based in Cheshire.

Throughout her time in Parliament Fiona has focused on championing individual freedoms and human rights, both in this country and abroad, including the right of religious freedom or belief.

Fiona served on the International Development Select Committee for four years and chaired the Parliamentary sub-committee overseeing the Independent Commission on Aid Inspections. She currently sits on the Parliamentary Joint-Committee on Human Rights and is also Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, an appointment made by the then-Prime Minister.

Fiona is also a Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for North Korea and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “Fiona Bruce is a champion for freedoms here & abroad. I look forward to working with her as the UK’s Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief to make sure everyone, everywhere is free to have & practice a faith, belief, or not, in accordance with their conscience.”

Lord Ahmad tweeted “As the UK Minister for human rights, freedom of religion is a key priority; I’m delighted by the appointment of Fiona Bruce MP as the PM’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief. She’s a powerful & passionate advocate for FoRB & I look forward to working closely with her.”

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Parliament debates progress on Bishop of Truro’s report

October 21, 2020

Westminster Hall debate: Persecution of Christians and Freedom of Religion or Belief, 21 October 2020

Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) (Con) introduced the debate, which is transcribed in full here

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Set Your Captives Free – #RedWednesday : 25 Nov, ONLINE

You are invited to #RedWednesday 2020 – our digital event

On the day of #RedWednesday, join us for the launch of our Set your Captives Free report which explores four particular cases of Christians who have been unjustly detained for their faith, along with a wider look at the growing issue of religious persecution.

The launch of this report will be a part of our digital Red Wednesday event, coming live to your from the Houses of Parliament. This report discusses vital issues and is truly ground-breaking. You are able to order your free copy after watching the event.


Archbishop Kaigama of Abuja, Nigeria

Maira Shahbaz, Pakistan

Rob Flello, Former MP

The event will be streamable from our webpage >

Although this is a digital event, please do book your place on here.

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Suffering Church Action and Awareness Week: SCAAW Live : 31 Oct, ONLINE

2:00 p.m., Saturday 31 October, 2020 UK time (GMT)

For the first time in the 24 year history of Barnabas Fund’s annual event for the suffering Church, we will be bringing Suffering Church Action and Awareness Week right into your homes with our livestream SCAAW event.

With this brand new format for SCAAW, we hope that more people than ever will use this opportunity to learn about, empathise with, pray for and speak out about suffering and persecuted Christians around the world.

2020 has been a hard year for all of us, none more so than our poor and persecuted family, many suffering from locusts, natural disaster and now coronavirus on top of the discrimination they already faced.

But in this suffering there is also hope. The persecuted Church is resilient, courageous and, most importantly, faithful to God. Through our suffering family, be inspired to find strength for today in the face of pressures and struggles, as we look to the bright hope Jesus promises us for tomorrow.

Join with Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, and Caroline Kerslake, International Director of Projects, as well as many other special guests, as we stand alongside our suffering brothers and sisters in every corner of the globe, demonstrating Christ’s love for each one of them, whatever they are facing.

There will be an opportunity to join Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director, the following Saturday, 7 November, for a livestream questions and answers session at 2:00 p.m.

Please register for these events using the link below


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International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church : 15 Nov, ONLINE

For the first time, the focus of this year’s International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church (IDOP) will be an exciting social media event. Don’t miss out!

Join us for a special online prayer event to mark this year’s International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church.

This year the Evangelical Alliance will be hosting for an evening with CSW, Release International and Open Doors of prayer and worship, featuring the latest news and prayer requests from China, India and Nigeria. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to unite together in prayer for our persecuted family.

This special online event will feature testimony from China, India and Nigeria, so save the date and tell your friends.

IDOP 2020 – an online event to remember!

Click here to register FREE on Eventbrite.
Registered supporters will be prompted with a reminder email to watch the event.

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Red Wednesday 2020

Around the world, Christians are being seized and unjustly detained. Leah, Patriarch Antonios, Bishop James and Maira, need our help. To put a spotlight on their cases, please will you:

Register to attend online the virtual Parliamentary Launch of ACNs ‘Set Your Captives Free’ Report detailing their plight. It takes place on Red Wednesday 25th November 2020, at 4.30pm. Book your place on Eventbrite

  • Contact your MP, asking them to attend online, the above ‘Set Your Captives Free’ event
  • Sign ACNs ‘Set your Captives Free’ petition, calling on Boris Johnson to demand that foreign governments release unjustly detained Christians, including those at acute risk of Covid-19 as a result of overcrowding in prisons etc
  • Contact your MP, asking them to sign the ACN ‘Set Your Captives Free’ letter to Boris Johnson, similarly calling for the release of unjustly detained Christians
  • Endorse the #RedWednesday campaign on Social Media using

#Red Wednesday


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New BARNABAS TODAY website launch : 5 Sep, ONLINE

Barnabas Fund’s new website, Barnabas Today, launches on Saturday 5 September.

With God’s help, will be a platform from which Christians can freely watch, read, listen or download Bible studies, sermons, discipleship and devotional materials, news, hymns and songs, written by Christians from the midst of the fiery furnace. Whether it is sickness, bereavement, isolation, rejection, poverty, financial worries, relationships or persecution for Christ’s sake, we all experience suffering. Barnabas Today will be a platform for resources written from and for situations of suffering, to bring hope and encouragement.

It is our prayer that these resources, available in various languages, will be a blessing to Christians all around the world, wherever they live.

Join us for our all-day livestream event launch of the Barnabas Today website anytime on Saturday 5 September.

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Bishop of Truro to head up new government forum for the advancement of religious freedom across the globe

Fri 10 Jul 2020

Premier Christian News reports:

A new Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) Forum has been set up following a landmark report into global Christian persecution by the Bishop of Truro last year.

Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro will chair the new initiative after the government accepted his findings and recommendation that the UK must become “the global leader in championing freedom of religion and belief [FoRB]”. 

In an announcement, the government said it was commissioning the UK FoRB Forum “to ensure that the UK plays a leading role in global efforts to advance religious freedom or belief around the world”. The Forum is due to be launched in September and will work to raise awareness of religious intolerance and discrimination across the globe. 

Bishop Philip said on Thursday: “In one of his first speeches to the House of Commons on the slave trade, William Wilberforce said this: ‘You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.’ My hope is that the UK Freedom of Religion or Belief Forum will enable us all to look steadily at this egregious problem of our time, not to let it be overlooked, and together to face it down.”

The group, which will comprise of representation from civil-society organisations, NGOs, academic organisations, and the Government, will seek to inform the government on policy-making in relation to the protection of religious expression and belief make recommendations for action. It will also liaise closely with the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on FoRB, Rehman Chishti MP, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FoRB in order to hold the government to account for the implementation of Bishop Mountstephen’s recommendations.

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House of Lords Symposium Marks the First Anniversary of The Publication of the Truro Review of the Global Persecution of Christians

8 July 2020

Lord Alton’s opening remarks:

Closing remarks:

The links to the other contributions made during the Symposiuum, which was attended by several hundred people – on line – will be made available later in the week here

Foreign Office video on Freedom of Religious Belief:

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Faith on the Frontline Webinar : 7 Jul, ONLINE

What would you do if your church was raided by police and Bibles made illegal? Despite facing hostility and risk, Churches are growing in nations hostile to the Gospel . During this webinar we will look at the church in Iraq, Iran and China.

Join us as we pray and discover ways we can stand with Christians across unsafe borders.

Register Download flyer

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