Global Persecution of Christian Minorities
- This event has passed.
Global Persecution of Christian Minorities
9 July @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The persecution of Christian minorities continues to persist across the world. This issue was thrust into the spotlight following the devastating Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, where a string of co-ordinated attacks targeting churches during Easter Sunday services – killing in the region of 250 people. This followed the 2016 Easter Sunday terrorist attack in the Pakistani city of Lahore, which killed 80 people, and the 2012 Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in the northwestern Nigerian city of Kaduna, which claimed 38 lives.
By kind invitation of Sir Gary Streeter MP, the Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to examine the extent to which Christian minorities are persecuted on a global scale. This will include discussion of where such persecution is the most severe, and what the UK government can do in addressing the religious persecution of Christian minorities.
Dr. Tim Stanley is a historian, and columnist and leader writer for The Telegraph.
Dr. Matthew D. Rees has a PhD in International Politics from Aberystwyth University. He works as a Head of Advocacy at Open Doors UK, an organisation which works with vulnerable minority Christian communities in over 60 countries from the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa to South East Asia and campaigns on the international right to freedom of religion or belief for everyone.
Dr. Rakib Ehsan is a Research Fellow in the Centre on Radicalisation & Terrorism. Rakib specialises in the socio-political behaviour and attitudes of British ethnic minorities, with a particular focus on the UK’s Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups. He holds a BA Politics & International Relations (First-Class Honours), MSc Democracy, Politics & Governance (Pass with Distinction), and a PhD in Political Science, all from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Sir Gary Streeter MP was first elected to Parliament in 1992 and has held several ministerial and front bench posts. Most recently he has chaired various committees in the House of Commons. Gary have been re-elected to Parliament following the 2017 General Election. In the New Year’s honours 2019 he was awarded a knighthood for his public service.
On 9 July, the Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome Dr Tim Stanley, historian and writer for The Telegraph, and Dr Matthew D. Rees, Head of Advocacy at Open Doors UK, for a discussion on the persecution of Christian minorities across the world. They were joined by Dr Rakib Ehsan. The event was chaired by Sir Gary Streeter MP.
Dr Ehsan opened the discussion by reflecting how this event was inspired by the increasingly prevalent issue of Christians across the world being persecuted for their beliefs, citing examples such as this year’s devastating Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka but also earlier violence in Nigeria and Pakistan. He observed that in spite of these attacks forming part of a general global trend, violence against Christians remains insufficiently discussed. Dr Ehsan noted that this is a result of the metropolitan liberal Left’s uncertainty about Christian values. While liberal politicians see an electoral advantage in appealing to the Muslim community by rightly denouncing Islamophobic persecution, their general celebration of the decline in Judeo-Christian values makes them reluctant to denounce anti-Christian attacks in the same way.
Second to speak, Dr Rees also reflected on the ‘egregious’ tendency towards increasing violence against Christian communities across the world. He noted with regret that while in 2014 the Open Doors watch list of countries in which Christians face persecution included only one state engaging in ‘extreme persecution’, North Korea, this year the number had expanded to eleven. He argued that this was especially a problem in Asia. Dr Rees cited examples such as North Korea where Christians are frequently imprisoned in ‘gulag-style death camps’. He argued that in order to address this problem, it is crucial to move mainstream narratives away from the mistaken view that Christians around the world are white and privileged and emphasise the vulnerability of Christian communities. He expressed hope that the next Prime Minister will take firmer action to aid these groups.
Finally, the discussion was concluded by Dr Stanley who had just returned from the Nineveh Plain in Iraq. This region has been the home of Christian communities that date back to the time of the Apostles, but it has also seen occupation by ISIS and its story illustrates the increasing persecution of Christians in the region in recent years. Dr Stanley discussed how, since the Iraq War, the situation of Christian communities on the Plain deteriorated due to the presence local Islamist groups and later ISIS, which had given Iraqi Christians a choice of exile, conversion to Islam or death. While the defeat of ISIS in the region had allowed fleeing Christians to return, Dr Stanley argued that this community continued to face persecution, especially from Shiite military groups supported by Iran. He ended by citing the plea of local Iraqis that the West speak out against the persecution of Christians, without which those responsible will go unpunished.
The discussion finished with a round of questions from the audience.
It is important to discuss what drives social and economic exclusion among British Muslim women. Levels of female unemployment continue … Continued
How is the US Government tackling anti-Semitism? With growing concern over Islamist extremism, Far-Left anti-Zionism and the rise of Neo-Nazi … Continued
The UK has suffered at the hands of far-right terrorism in recent times. This includes the killing of Labour MP … Continued
Everyone knows that populism in the US and UK today is rooted not only in resentment toward elites but also … Continued
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued