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World News

'I'm incredibly proud': Jeremy Hunt on religious freedom and the 'political fragility' of freedom of religion work

by Sophie Drew

More than 600 faith leaders and delegates have flooded to Westminster for the International Conference for Freedom of Religion or Belief. 

Jeremy Hunt - who first commissioned the Truro Report to examine how the British Government can better support persecuted people abroad - has shared his "pride" in seeing the conference come to fruition. 

The report  - which was published three years ago - saw Rev Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, tasked with finding a solution to the growing issue of religious persecution. 

He put forward 22 points, all of which were taken on by the government. 

Now, he's praising Bishop Philip for his work.

On perhaps the busiest day, Westminster has seen in recent years, Hunt chaired a panel of Christian activists and spokespeople to discuss the plight of believers overseas. 

He was joined by some of the UK's leading names in the fight against religious persecution; Baroness Cox, The Bishop of Truro and Jim Shannon MP. 

Alongside them, Timothy Cho - who found his Christian faith in a Chinese prison after escaping North Korea - shared his heart-breaking testimony with the conference attendees. 

Speaking to Premier after the event, Hunt said: "I'm incredibly proud, but I don't take any credit for it. 

I was just very lucky to have Rev. Philip Mountstephen, the Bishop of Truro, who did an inspiring piece of work and really made it fly.

"I was actually very conscious of the political fragility at that time, and I wasn't sure how long I'd be foreign secretary.

"So I said to him privately 'let's make sure that we're not wasting time or each other's time with this. Let's try and do something that stands the test of time' and he really delivered." 

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