- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
Britain should withhold aid to countries that persecute Christians, a senior Conservative has said.
Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, said that it was “unacceptable” for taxpayers' money to go to regimes that do not "represent our values" and refused to tolerate other religions.
“A lot of people find it increasingly unacceptable as we look round the world and we see persecution of Christians, for example, or persecution of other religious minorities. They say, ‘Why should our money be given to regimes and governments who are extremely intolerant when it comes to other people’s religions?’”
The Times reported that he singled out Pakistan and Somalia as countries that fell short of British “ethical values”.
A number of MPs have spoken out for Christians in the Middle East after Prince Charles last month warned of a “crisis” of organised persecution in the region.
The Prince of Wales said at a reception for Middle Eastern Christian leaders at Clarence House that "Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.”
Days later the shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, in an article in the Sunday Telegraph, accused British politicians of having “forsaken” the cause of Christians in the Middle East.
He praised the Conservative Minister for Faith and Communities, Baroness Warsi, and the DUP MP Jim Shannon, for speaking out in Parliament and elsewhere for the rights of Christian minorities.
Above: a Pakistani Christian woman mourns for her brother, who was one of 81 worshippers killed in a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar in September. Photo: CNS/Reuters