The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been denouncing the persecution of Christians around the world in advance of a report he has commissioned from the Bishop of Truro. It’s true, and important, that Christians are being persecuted in large numbers, especially in the Middle East, and that this has been largely ignored by the British media for decades. But there is something very jarring in Hunt’s discovery of their cause.
But Hunt is himself reportedly a Christian and he should remember the parable of the mote and the beam. The government of which he is a part has done almost nothing to support Christians abroad. It did not offer asylum to Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman convicted under that country’s monstrous blasphemy law. It has sucked up to Saudi Arabia, a country where public Christianity is illegal, Christian migrant workers are treated abominably and where the corpses of executed criminals are still crucified.
It is a supporter of the government in Egypt, a country where Coptic churches are frequently assaulted. It is eager to trade with China, a country where Christians are persecuted and churches demolished. I can find no record of Hunt or any other recent foreign secretary raising these concerns directly when visiting the countries concerned.