A Christian MP asked the Government 50 times during one day what it is doing to tackle persecution against believers around the world, it has emerged.
David Linden wrote letters to the Foreign Secretary last week individually highlighting every country included in the Open Doors World Watch List.
The list ranks 50 nations where believers receive the worst treatment – including North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Pakistan.
His note, a written question, said: “To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart [in the country] on its inclusion in the Open Doors 2019 World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians face persecution.”
In 50 identical responses, Foreign Office minister Mark Field said concerns for religious minorities in other countries are raised “routinely” by ministers.
David Linden MP asks the Foreign Secretary about all 50 countries – one-by-one – included in the Open Doors World Watch List of where it is most difficult to be a Christian.https://t.co/XRQkxPrWBV
— APPG FoRB (@APPGFoRB) February 1, 2019
His written answer said: “The Foreign Secretary and I, alongside other British Government Ministers, routinely raise our concerns about the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians, where this occurs.
“He recently asked the Bishop of Truro to conduct an independent review of the persecution of Christians around the world to help inform this important area of our work and ensure it is targeted and effective.
“The Government works with a large number of NGOs, including Open Doors, to help promote and protect freedom of religion or belief. We use information from a wide range of sources to inform our work.”
Premier’s political editor Martyn Eden said it was highly unusual for an MP to write so many letters. He said: “I’ve never seen anything like this before. Mr Linden is clearly making a point.”