Shailesh Vara calls on the UK to use its influence on the global stage to ensure the protection of Christians is high on the list of international priorities.
At the outset, my hon. Friend mentioned that we had cross-party support for this motion. May I gently add that that support is not only cross party but multi-faith among the Members of Parliament here?
Does my hon. Friend agree that Britain has a significant role on the global stage—we are a permanent member of the UN Security Council, head of the Commonwealth and a major economic power—and that we use our influence on the global stage for a whole variety of reasons and causes, and should ensure that the protection of Christians is put high on the list and that we use our influence for that purpose as well?
My hon. Friend speaks with great common sense, as always. I am very proud to represent a multicultural, multi-faith community. I have some 7,000 Muslims in my community, and they make a massive contribution to my society and it is a joy to be their Member of Parliament. He is absolutely right that we have this historical connection and historical influence with which we can do good. We can use that for the benefit of Christians, for the benefit of religious freedoms and for the benefit of democracy around the world.