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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Conservative Party Candidate for York Outer
Any reference to Julian Sturdy being a Member of Parliament on this website predates the dissolution of Parliament and the 2024 General Election campaign

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York Press column: All action ahead of Easter

York Press column: All action ahead of Easter

It has been a jam-packed couple of weeks since my last column where I had an opportunity to reflect on the Chancellor’s Budget. I want to begin by highlighting the fantastic news that inflation has dropped to 3.4 per cent – the lowest in two and a half years. When the Prime Minister came to

Julian works with Parkinson’s UK

This week in Parliament, Julian had a really positive meeting with Laura from Parkinson’s...

Julian meets with Minister to discuss Renters (Reform) Bill

Alongside Andy Simpson of York Residential Lettings Association, Julian met with Jacob Young MP...

Julian supports Dogs Trust plea to end puppy smuggling

Julian has pledged his support on the issue of puppy smuggling today at a...

Julian attends Open Doors World Watch List report launch

January 17, 2024

Julian was pleased to attend the Open Doors World Watch List Report Launch 2024 hosted by the Rt Hon Dame Andrea Leadsom MP on 17 January.

Many constituents had written to Julian to express their concern about Christian persecution around the world and had asked him to attend. This annual event, which Julian attended last year as well, is an incredibly important opportunity to hear about the vital work that Open Doors do as well as hearing the lived experiences of Christian and other religious groups who have suffered religious persecution across the globe.

As the Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, recently stated, we are living in a time when it is hard to remember a period in which the geopolitical situation was as complex and precarious. In times of conflict, we see an increase in the probability of Christians and other minority groups suffer extreme violence, exacerbated by the rise of authoritarianism and weak institutions in failed states.

This year’s report focused on the cost of collapse and the cost of control, where the report explores the complex security challenges in West Africa such as the rise in Islamic extremism which has been facilitated by weak state institutions. Nigeria continues to be a major concern with more Christians killed for their faith than any other country in the world.

Additionally, the report highlights the increased state control in China as a result of policies from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which has seen the increased persecution of Christians due to new regulations that limit churches in their worship and other activities. These measures have built upon the concerning trend seen during the pandemic and are exacerbated by the fact that the emergence of technological advancement has seen the increased prevalence of digital persecution of Christians and other religious groups.

More than 350 million Christians suffer from high levels of persecution and discrimination simply as a result of their faith. This translates to 1 in 7 Christians being persecuted world wide, 1 in 5 persecuted in Africa, and 2 in 5 in Asia. Furthermore, 4,998 Christians were killed for faith related reasons last year.

The UK is a world leader in protecting and promoting Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) and with 2024 being a historic year for democracy, with over 2 billion people expected to go to the polls, we must watch out for the rise in authoritarianism and the persecution of religious groups.

The report makes a series of recommendations such as recognising the needs of religious minorities in Conflict, Stabilisation, and Mediation Policy, ensuring that UK trade strategy promotes Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB), along with other human rights, and finally, to establish the role of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on FoRB, current;y held by Fiona Bruce MP, into statute.

The Report lists the below as the top 10 most dangerous countries to be a Christian in 2024:

1. North Korea

2. Somalia

3. Libya

4. Eritrea

5. Yemen

6. Nigeria

7. Pakistan

8. Sudan

9. Iran

10. Afghanistan

Following the event, Julian commented:

“I was pleased to attend the Open Doors World Watch List Report hosted by my colleague, Dame Andrea Leadsom MP, where I was able to hear the lived experiences of Christians across the world who have faced persecution simply as a result of their faith.

The UK is a proud promoter and protector of Freedom of Religion and Belief across the globe, and this is all the more important during this historic election year, the rise in authoritarianism, increased security challenges in West Africa, and the malign harnessing of digital technology in China”.