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.

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Barnabas Fund Supporters’ Afternoon : 20 Jun, ONLINE

This remote event is an opportunity to hear directly from Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, Founder and International Director of Barnabas Fund, and Caroline Kerslake, International Director of Projects.

Patrick will address the effect of Covid-19 on the Church and Christian mission, in the light of the growing persecution which is taking place as well as the multiple natural disasters befalling the Church. He will seek to point a way ahead from which Barnabas Fund can develop into the future, as it re-structures and re-prioritises its efforts, under God, in order that the Church can be sustained, strengthened and advanced in post-Covid times. He will also reflect on how, through the tremendous assistance of Barnabas supporters, the Fund has been able to feed more than half a million Christians in the last three months.
 
Caroline will address not only what God has done to help Covid-affected and other hungry Christians over the last three months but also new projects that we hope, with the Lord’s help, to be developing to meet the needs of the post-Covid persecuted Church.

To register your interest for this remote event please enter your details here.

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Barnabas Coronavirus Emergency Network (BCEN) Launched

LAUNCH OF THE BARNABAS CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY NETWORK (BCEN)

The needs of the poor and persecuted church are urgent and must be met now. Coronavirus is creating a humanitarian disaster, especially for persecuted Christians, in many parts of the world.

And the reason for this disproportionate effect on the Christian community?
Persecuted Christians are on the margins of society, discriminated against in daily life, and often discriminated against when general aid is distributed. Many are desperately poor already because of discrimination. They have no savings, and with lockdown they have lost their meagre incomes.

Many pastors and clergy have no means of support if their congregations cannot meet.

Barnabas Fund, the leading aid agency for persecuted Christians, has launched the Barnabas Coronavirus Emergency Network to urgently meet these needs. We are joined by over 85 partner organisations. These include global church denominations, representing thousands of congregations worldwide and some are theological institutions with close links to rural pastors caring for their vulnerable flock during this time. Associations such as GAFCON, EFAC, the Communion of Reformed Churches, and Pentecostal Networks are all part of the Barnabas Coronavirus Emergency Network, giving us direct access to our brothers and sisters at the grassroots. Our objectives are to monitor the effects of Covid-19 on persecuted Christians, and learn how to support those Christians better.

BCEN is obtaining reliable up-to-date information which Barnabas Fund will share with supporters to inform their prayers.
BCEN is guiding Barnabas Fund’s response in terms of practical support for coronavirus-affected Christians, thus ensuring that funds given are used as effectively as possible in this unprecedented and fast-changing global emergency.

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Standing Strong Live : 9 Apr, ONLINE

Join Eddie Lyle, President of Open Doors, and members of our worldwide church family as they share how they are seeing Jesus at work at this time

About this Event

On Maundy Thursday (9 April), join Eddie Lyle, President of Open Doors, and church leaders from the UK, Ireland and some from the persecuted church as they share what is strengthening them in this moment and how they are seeing Jesus at work where they are.

We’re all experiencing isolation at the moment. We’re not able to meet as a church or see extended family. The lockdown has affected us all significantly. However, many of our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church have experienced similar isolation for many years – worshipping in secret and often on their own.

There will also be the chance to celebrate Communion together as we recall Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, reminding us that His body was broken to draw us together and unite us – even as we are separated now. Please bring some bread and juice or wine in order to participate.

Let us build our own faith as we look to the courageous faith of our persecuted church family.

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