To mark the end of Lent, the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has written 40 letters to persecuted Christians, church groups and leaders from across the globe. And the first letter he wrote was to Open Doors founder, Brother Andrew.
In the letter, Jeremy Hunt told Brother Andrew, “I would like to express my personal thanks for the extraordinary and courageous support you have provided to the persecuted Church throughout the years. Having read God's Smuggler as a child, I know that your story has inspired millions of people around the world to speak out on behalf of the voiceless and suffering.”
Brother Andrew, 90, read the letter in his home in the Netherlands. He said: “I was encouraged to receive Mr Hunt’s letter and to read of his ongoing commitment to ensure that the UK government do everything possible to support Christians and other minorities in parts of the world where they are persecuted for their faith.”
Encouraging Christians under attack
The Foreign Secretary wrote letters to Christians in 14 countries from the Open Doors World Watch List.
Responding to the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s Easter message of hope, which stated his desire to “Encourage and bolster Christians under attack”, Henrietta Blyth, CEO Open Door UK and Ireland said: “Families are left scarred by the loss of loved ones and communities are devastated at a time when they should simply be celebrating the Easter message joyfully and freely.
“Easter is a time of hope for us all. Yet it is often a time when Christians are targeted for their faith. That’s why I am pleased that Jeremy Hunt launched a review of the government’s response to persecution and has chosen Easter to further shine a light on the issue by writing 40 Lent letters to persecuted Christians and those who support them. I am delighted that the first letter has gone to Open Doors’ founder, Brother Andrew, who has greatly inspired me and so many others by his tireless work for those persecuted for their faith.”
Review into the persecution of Christians
The Foreign Secretary’s 40 letters come amid the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s review into the persecution of Christians.
Henrietta Blyth continued “Despite the cowardly attacks on Christians seen in recent years, Easter marks renewal and hope and unites Christians across the world. I believe that freedom of religion or belief is one of the major issues of our time. This review is a good first step to addressing this, I very much hope it will deliver real, tangible and lasting change for those suffering persecution. I will be praying for this impact as I worship freely in my church this Easter Sunday.”
Explore the courageous faith of the persecuted church: