Prime Minister Theresa May said she stands with persecuted Christians this Easter as she shared about her meeting with Open Doors partner Father Daniel, in Prime Minister’s Questions.
In response to a question by Jim Shannon, Member of Parliament for Strangford about protecting persecuted Christians this Easter Theresa May said, “He is absolutely right about the very real persecution that too many Christians face around the world. I was pleased to recently meet Father Daniel from Nineveh who talked about the very real persecution that his congregations were suffering. He presented me with a Bible that was burnt and had been rescued when a church had been set on fire – which is now in number ten Downing Street. We stand with those persecuted Christians and we will be looking to see what more the government can do to support them.
David Rossiter, Open Doors Advocacy Campaigns officer said, “This response is a direct result of all the advocacy done by Open Doors supporters. The impact of our supporter’s advocacy cannot be underestimated - the voices of our persecuted family are being heard in the corridors of power. I’m so pleased to see that Theresa May remembers the plight of persecuted Christians this Easter. Especially as Christian are more likely to face violent attacks during the festival.”
ISIS Survivors art exhibition
Jim Shannon also mentioned the persecution of the Yezidi community in his question to the Prime Minister, after attended the launch of the Open Doors sponsored art exhibition in parliament on Monday, Yezidi Women: ISIS Survivors. The event advocates on behalf of the Yezidi community and others who have experienced similar abuses and urges the UK government to respond to the double-vulnerability faced by women in these communities and empower minorities in the Middle East to rebuild their lives.
Speaking at the event Jim Shannon said, “It’s very emotional. Each picture tells a story of the persecution, the violence and the loss that has taken place. It is the story of how an ethnic minority was pursued by ISIS to the point of almost destruction and yet the Yezidi religion and culture will continue to grow despite the outlandish efforts ISIS to destroy them – they didn’t do it. I see it today as an overcoming of truth over evil and good over bad. It reminds me that God is still strong.”
Open Doors is sponsoring this exhibition in Westminster as part of its Hope for the Middle East campaign.
Hope for the Middle East
Theresa May met Father Daniel, an Open Doors partner from Erbil, Iraq, in December as part of the Hope for the Middle East campaign. Father Daniel presented her with an Arabic Bible retrieved from a burnt out church in Karamles as a symbol of the hope still held by Christians in Iraq. Father Daniel also presented the Prime Minister with a petition signed by 808,172 people from 143 countries worldwide which called for Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria to be given the right to equal citizenship, dignified living conditions and a prominent role in reconciling and rebuilding society. This petition was also presented to high-level UN officials and to the Vice President of the USA, Mike Pence, amongst others.
Yezidi Women: ISIS Survivors is running from 26-29 March in the Upper Waiting Hall Exhibition Area of parliament, and is open to the public to attend.