UK government considering sanctions for religious freedom violators

Catholic News Agency | 7/18/2019 | Staff
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London, England, Jul 18, 2019 / 10:03 am (CNA).- UK Ambassador to the Holy See Sally Axworthy said this week that the UK government will consider a recommendation to impose sanctions on foreign governments that violate religious freedom.

“The Foreign Secretary … has said that we will look at imposing sanctions on people who commit violations of freedom of religion and belief, as we do impose sanctions on people who commit other kinds of crimes,” Axworthy told EWTN News Nightly July 15.

Ambassador - Comments - Publication - Review - Response

The ambassador’s comments came after the publication of an independent review to assess the response of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the global problem of Christian persecution.

The report concluded that the UK government’s opportunities for independent action on the global stage have been under-utilized, and that the UK’s changing relationship with the European Union provides an opportunity for the Foreign Office to do more to preserve the rights of persecuted Christians, who make up 80 percent of those affected by global religious persecution.

Report - Recommendations - Foreign - Secretary - Jeremy

Among the report’s recommendations to the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the Anglican Bishop of Truro Philip Mounstephen, who oversaw the report, recommended that the UK government be prepared to impose sanctions against perpetrators of “freedom of religion or belief” abuses.

“The Foreign Secretary has said that we are going to accept all of the recommendations in the report, and of course now we study how we do that,” Ambassador Axworthy said.

Results - Report - Event - Rome - Basilica

The results of the report were shared at an event at Rome’s Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Tiber Island July 15.

“The plight of Christians suffering torture and death is particularly distressing for those of us who also share with them a deep spiritual bond,” Mons. Antoine Camilleri,...
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