Last Wednesday, Mims attended the launch of the 2022 World Watch List alongside MPs from across the House of Commons. The online launch was hosted by Theresa Villiers MP, which focused on the increasing numbers of Christians across the world who are continuing to experience persecution, with the pandemic adding to their suffering.
It provided vital, in-depth research and analysis into the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. This research gave MPs the opportunity to find out how religious persecution is intertwined with many other global issues, and what can be done to help resolve them. The launch also gave MPs the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from persecuted Christians around the world.
Following the launch, Mims said:
"This is an issue which means a great deal to both constituents and myself, which is why I was delighted to attended this year's launch. The FCDO regularly engages with Open Doors UK and I have no doubt that ministers will pay heed to the recommendations made in the 2022 World Watch List Report. I am also glad that the report has praised the UK Government for the many positive advances it has made."
The Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, was published in 2019.
The Government has committed to implementing the Bishop’s 22 recommendations in full, and work continues to implement them in a way which will bring real improvements in the lives of those persecuted because of their faith or belief. Of the 22 recommendations, the UK has fully delivered 10, made good progress on a further 8, and ministers are confident that all 22 will be delivered by the time of the independent review in 2022.
The FCDO also works with international bodies, such as the UN, G7, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance, to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all. The UK will host an international ministerial conference on FoRB in July 2022 to energise collective efforts on this agenda.