Baroness Cox calls for safe havens for persecuted religious minorities

27 April 2015

Baroness Cox, Lord Alton and Lord Steel have written a joint letter to The Times, calling for the creation of safe havens for religious minorities. They state that the EU and the US must fast-track asylum applications for beleaguered religious minorities facing deadly persecution. 

The full text of the letter can be found below. The original is available here

Sir, Your leader Maghreb Massacre” (Apr 20) rightly argued that North Africa’s Christians are being persecuted as if 2015 were the Middle Ages, and highlighted the murder of a group of Ethiopian Christians by Daesh (Islamic State) in Libya.

We mourn with and pray for the Ethiopian communities that have lost their loved ones in this brutal fashion. The manner of their deaths, as depicted in a video by Daesh, echoes the killings of 21 Egyptian Christians in February, for which Archbishop Welby has offered his condolences in person this week during a visit to the Coptic Orthodox patriarch in Egypt.

Daesh’s targeting of Christians, other religious minorities and Muslims who do not subscribe to their brutal ideology is in contempt of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of religion or belief. Daesh poses a clear and existential threat to other faith communities.

International intervention is essential to counter the threat of Daesh and to create safe havens for religious minorities who wish to remain in their ancestral homes. We also encourage the EU and the US to fast-track asylum opportunities for beleaguered religious minorities facing the prospect of death on account of their faith.

Baroness Cox

Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Steel of Aikwood

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