SIOBHAN BAILLIE: We must fight to end persecution of Christians

The Stroud MP’s weekly column.

It seems to me that MPs could quite easily spend all day attending committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) without stepping foot in the famous debating chamber.

There are literally hundreds of APPGs about fascinating subjects.

Residents write to me all the time to consider joining certain groups too – which is a helpful way to highlight areas of local interest.

My time in Westminster is dedicated to Stroud so I am assessing all the APPGs to find which committees will help progress my six priority areas here and your campaigns locally. I’ll keep you informed of the ones I join!

A significant number of residents raised the issue of Christians being persecuted around the world during the election campaign and since being elected, I was asked to attend an Open Doors event. Open Doors is a charity that produces an annual ‘watch list’ of the top 50 countries where Christians are at risk.

Importantly, they campaign for recognition of freedom of religion and beliefs.

There are of course many faiths and groups that sadly suffer persecution.

It is my belief that we need to fight to ensure that people should be able to practice their faith or have no faith at all in safety.

I am pleased to support them and I will follow the work of the PM’s special envoy closely. He was well received by Open Doors last week.

Finally, my street stall in Dursley gave me the opportunity to speak to residents in the winter sunshine. The Cam and Dursley Transportation group came to discuss Gloucestershire’s Local Transport Plan consultation meeting at SDC on Thursday, February 13, 11am to 3pm. This is a date for all diaries! I will work to bring positive changes to bus, train and rural transportation issues.

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