LONDON: In a Christmas greeting message, Lord Tariq Ahmad, the UK Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has mentioned particularly to those Christians persecuted for their faith in Pakistan, Iraq and Syria.
Lord Tariq Ahmed said that this is the time of the year, when Christians across the world come together to celebrate the birth of Prophet Jesus. It is also a time for us all of all faiths and none to reflect on the value of faith and on our common humanity that binds us.
On the occasion of Christmas festive, he said; “For me, it is also a time to give thanks for the cherished freedoms we in the UK have to practise our faith or belief and a time to pray for those elsewhere in the world who do not enjoy that freedom.
“At Christmas, I think particularly of the Christians persecuted for their faith. Be it in Iraq, Syria or Pakistan to mention but a few. As the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, I am committed to taking action to defend and promote and strengthen this fundamental freedom around the world.
“I recently announced a new £12 million fund dedicated to this important and vital work. We continue to work closely with faith leaders, NGOs and civil society representatives”.
He said the he would like to pay tribute to their courage in standing up for the rights of people of all faiths and none and their continued commitment to strengthening respect between different communities, different faiths.
“As we enter this Christmas season, let us remember the words of Jesus. Let us pledge to love our friends, our neighbours, our families. Let us build mutual understanding and respect, and let us be inspired by the Christmas message to bring peace on earth and goodwill to all. So on this occasion, in this great season, from my family to yours, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas”, went on to say. (Lord Tariq Ahmad issued this message before the Christmas feastive.)