First Minister urged to raise concerns about persecution of Christians

Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar has called on the First Minister to raise concerns about the persecution of Christians with overseas Governments where the Welsh Government has relationships.

Darren raised the matter when questioning the First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM, in the Senedd this week.

He said:

“At the beginning of the year, Open Doors published its Annual World Watch List, which is a list of the world's worst persecuting nations for Christians to be living in. Many of the countries that are mentioned on that list are nations that the Welsh Government has relationships with - Pakistan, India, Qatar and Vietnam, for example.

“Clearly, where the Welsh Government has a relationship, it has a dialogue with those Governments and may be able to influence them. Can the First Minister tell us what action the Welsh Government is taking, or could take, in order to discuss the infringement of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Christians living in those nations where their right to change their religion and their right to practice their religion is not being realised.”

In his reply, the First Minister said he fully supports an individual's right to freedom of conscience and has raised human rights issues in the past in some countries he has been to.

He added: “Of course we take advice from the Foreign Office; it's hugely important, with their network of embassies and their access to intelligence, that we take advice from them, but nobody, of course, could possibly condone a situation where freedom of conscience is not respected.”