British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to defend persecuted Christians around the world, telling them his government will “defend your right to practice your faith.”
In his Christmas message, the Prime Minister called on the British people to remember “those Christians around the world who are facing persecution.”
“For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell,” he said. “As Prime Minister, that’s something I want to change.”
“We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and will defend your right to practice your faith.”
The Prime Minister began his message by acknowledging that Christmas Day is “first and foremost, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.”
“It is a day of inestimable importance to billions of Christians the world over,” he added.
He also paid tribute to people working in public services on Christmas Day, particularly NHS staff and members of the Armed Forces.
The Prime Minister’s words come days after the Prince of Wales released a Christmas video highlighting the persecution of Christians across the world. In his message, recorded for charity Aid to the Church in Need UK, Prince Charles said the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka this year were “the single worst day of violence targeting Christians in the modern era.”
“But tragically it was not an isolated example,” he added.
“As we recall how the Christ Child fled with his parents to Egypt, let us remember the countless many who endure terrible persecution or are forced to flee their homes, and let us strengthen our resolve to prevent Christianity disappearing from the lands of the bible.”
The Prince recalled how a Syrian religious sister had given him a gift: a depiction of the head of the crucified Christ made out of charred wood taken from a bomb-blasted church in Aleppo.
“May I assure those of you who carry the cross of suffering today that you are in my most special thoughts and heartfelt prayers,” he said.