Senior church leaders from the Middle East are converging on Cambridge today. They are attending a Bible Society initiative to support Christian communities facing growing pressure in the region.
The Magi Initiative conference runs until 14 May. One of the key speakers will be the UK’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Fiona Bruce MP.
She is expected to affirm the UK’s commitment to be a global leader in protecting religious freedom around the world.
In February, Fiona Bruce told church leaders: ‘Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right of every human being – a right to which the Prime Minister is resolutely committed.’
In 2019 the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, reviewed UK government support for persecuted Christians. His recommendations are now government policy. Bishop Philip will be describing his Review at the Magi Initiative.
The conference will be attended by church leaders from most Christian denominations in the Middle East, as well as representatives from Europe.
‘Freedom of religion and belief are so important for Christians in majority Muslim countries,’ said co-organiser Cristian Romocea, of Bible Society. ‘When those freedoms are violated or restricted, individuals and communities alike suffer.
‘The persecution faced by Christians in the region offers a stark warning about the importance of upholding and preserving these freedoms here at home.’
The name Magi Initiative is a nod towards the Bible account of wise men from the East following the star to encounter the Messiah.
‘Like the Magi, we want church leaders in 2022 to be able to return to their own lands with a message of hope,’ said Cristian Romocea.
The Magi Initiative is a joint venture between the Bible Societies in England and Wales, and the Bible Society of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, and others.
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