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Call for MPs to stand up against persecution of Christians

Lord David Alton of Liverpool, who will chair the event organised by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, said the meeting in the House of Lords on Tuesday 13th October will provide a vital opportunity to push the issue of religious persecution up the agenda.

Lord Alton, a trustee of ACN, will launch the charity's Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2013-15.

The document provides analysis of oppression in more than 20 countries of concern and includes witness testimonies.

Lord Alton said: "If the horrific persecution of religious minorities is to be pushed right up the political agenda it will take MPs and Peers to do it.

"That's why it is so important for Catholics to contact their MP and to ask them to come to the event launching ACN's report on oppressed Christians.

"At the launch, they will learn about the scale and nature of the persecution underway in so many parts of the world."

Invited speakers include Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo in Syria and Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the United Nations based in Geneva.

There will be a video message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.

Witnesses of persecution from Iraq, North Korea and Nigeria have also been invited to give testimony.

The Persecuted and Forgotten? report will be presented at ACN's annual Westminster Event on Saturday, 17th October.

Iraq's Father Douglas Bazi will describe how he survived torture by Al Qaeda in Baghdad and his work helping displaced Christians in northern Iraq supported by ACN.

ACN UK National Director Neville Kyrke-Smith will give an update on ACN's work in aid of people fleeing violence and destitution as well as those in pastoral need.

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