Bishop Philip shared a webinar with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis and leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church to mark Contemporary Martyrs Day.

Organised by the Coptic Orthodox Church, the day commemorates the anniversary of the death of 21 Libyan Martyrs, murdered six years ago, by Isis. It also marks all who have lost their lives in the recent past as a result of religious persecution.

The virtual gathering was addressed by leaders of the Coptic Church, Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin and others. 

Bishop Philip, who led the Independent Review of the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office’s support for Persecuted Christians, spoke about the steps the UK Government is taking to promote Freedom of Religion or Belief. 

“The fundamental human right of Freedom of Religion or Belief and a recognition of its widespread abuse is on the political agenda in the UK in a way that it simply has not been before,” Bishop Philip told the meeting. “Perhaps the key recommendation of my review is that implementation should be fully reviewed three years on from publication; so the clock is ticking and it is absolutely vital that this issue remains high on the political agenda,” he said.

Archbishop Justin spoke of those around the world persecuted for the faith and said all Churches stood with them. “Whether it is the martyrs in Libya, … or whether it’s in Nigeria, or so many other parts of the world, we are there to listen as well as to speak … to be in solidarity with them.”

Watch the webinar in full here

A full list of the day’s speakers

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury;
His Excellency Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;
His Excellency Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain;
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Director of Refcemi and Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London;
The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, The Bishop of Truro; 
The Lord Alton of Liverpool, UK House of Lords; 
Fiona Bruce MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief;
Mervyn Thomas CMG, Founder President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide;
Neville Kyrke-Smith, Chairman of Aid to the Church in Need;
Martin Mosebach, Author of ‘The 21’;

The Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians: