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Prime Minister Theresa May receives Bible burnt by Daesh as a symbol of the hope of Christians in Iraq

14 December 2017

Father Daniel of Erbil Iraq, Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland and Conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman met Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday 13 December in Parliament to highlight the plight of Christians and minorities in the Middle East and ask for help in securing a better future for them.

Father Daniel presented Prime Minister Theresa May with an Arabic Bible which was found at St Mary’s shrine in Karamles, Iraq, after been burnt by Daesh. The survival of the Bible symbolises the hope which the Christian community in Iraq continue to hold on to.

Father Daniel later spoke in Parliament to assembled MPs, Peers and church leaders along with Conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman, Labour MP Kate Green, Alistair Burt MP and Lisa Pearce.

The event came after 808,172 people from 142 countries signed a petition, launched by Open Doors, asking the UK government and the United Nations to ensure that Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities enjoy the right to equal citizenship, dignified living conditions and a prominent role in reconciling and rebuilding their society.

Dame Caroline Spelman, Father Daniel and Lisa Pearce present Prime Minister Theresa May with an Arabic Bible.

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Open Doors UK & Ireland is part of Open Doors International, a global NGO network which has supports and strengthens persecuted Christians in over 60 countries, and has been working for over 60 years. Last year it raised approximately $70 million to provide practical support to persecuted Christians such as food, medicines, trauma care, legal assistance, safe houses and schools, as well as spiritual support through Christian literature, training and resources. Open Doors UK & Ireland raised over £11 million.

Every year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List – a ranking of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. This is produced using detailed information provided by Open Doors co-workers in more than 60 countries, as well as independent experts. Data is gathered on five spheres of life - private, family, community, national and church life – plus a sixth sphere measuring the degree of violence impacting Christians. Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system. Open Doors' research methods and results have been independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom. The 2017 World Watch List accounts for the 12 months ending 31 October 2016.


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