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UK general election 2017: What the political party manifestos say about persecution and discrimination against Christians UPDATED


30 May 2017

Conservative Party manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

- We will continue to champion British values around the globe: freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law…We will expand our global efforts to combat extremism, terror, and the perpetration of violence against people because of their faith, gender or sexuality. (page 38)- Wherever possible, the government will offer asylum and refuge to people in parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression, rather than to those who have made it to Britain…We will continue to work with other countries in Europe, and the United Nations, to review the international legal definitions of asylum and refugee status. We will make sure our councils get the help they need to deal with people as they arrive, and establish schemes to help individuals, charities, faith groups, churches and businesses to provide housing and other support for refugees. (page 40)

We will replace the unfair and ineffective inclusivity rules that prevent the establishment of new Roman Catholic schools, instead requiring new faith schools to prove that parents of other faiths and none would be prepared to send their children to that school. (page 50)

We will work with schools to make sure that those with intakes from one predominant racial, cultural or religious background teach their students about pluralistic, British values and help them to get to know people with different ways of life.(page 55)

What the Conservative Party said in 2015

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

We will stand up for the freedom of people of all religions – and non-religious people – to practise their beliefs in peace and safety, for example by supporting persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

1. We want people to integrate fully into British society, but that does not mean they should have to give up the things they hold dear in their religion.

2. We will defend a free media … We will continue to defend hard-won liberties and the operation of a free press.

The Green Party manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

Action to tackle racism and discrimination on the basis of faith or disability, real equality for LGBTIQA+ people, equal rights for mixed gender couples to have a Civil Partnership. (page 21)

What the Green party said in 2015

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

Imagine a world in which everyone is respected whatever their ethnicity, gender, age, religious belief or non belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, size, disability or other status.

The Labour Party manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

We will appoint dedicated global ambassadors for women’s rights, LGBT rights and religious freedom to fight discrimination and promote equality globally. (p118)

No commitments

What the Labour Party said in 2015

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

- We will appoint a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom, and establish a multi-faith advisory council on religious freedom within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

- We will ensure Britain continues its proud history of providing refuge for those fleeing persecution by upholding our international obligations, including working with the UN to support vulnerable refugees from Syria. 

We applaud those faith communities who have pioneered an inter-faith dialogue for the common good.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

- Appoint an ambassador-level champion for freedom of belief to drive British diplomatic efforts in this field, and campaign for the abolition of blasphemy, sedition, apostasy and criminal libel laws worldwide, having already been responsible for ending them in this country. (page 86)
- Refugees are human beings fleeing from war zones and persecution, and we have a legal and moral obligation to offer them sanctuary. The Liberal Democrats are proud of the UK’s historic commitments to assisting those seeking refuge from
war, persecution and degradation, and believe that we should continue to uphold our responsibilities. (page 77)
- Expand the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to offer sanctuary to 50,000 people over the lifetime of the next parliament.
(page 78)

Guarantee the freedom of people to wear religious or cultural dress, and tackle the growing incidence of Islamophobic hate crime. (page 71)

What the Liberal Democrats said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

We will appoint an Ambassador-level Champion for Freedom of Belief to drive British diplomatic efforts in this field, and we will campaign for the abolition of blasphemy, sedition, apostasy and criminal libel laws worldwide

- Review the process of assessing threats against different ethnic and religious communities to ensure all groups in the UK are properly protected.

- To tackle religious discrimination and support faith and belief communities in working together we will:

  • Continue support for the Interfaith Network to promote strong and sustainable relations between different faith communities.
  • Work closely with faith and community organisations, such as the Community Security Trust (which works to protect the Jewish community against anti-Semitic attacks) and the Muslim Council of Britain, to prevent hate crime, including at places of worship like synagogues and mosques. We are determined to combat antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate in the UK and internationally

- A second Freedoms Act to protect free speech, stop heavy-handed policing…. ensuring insulting words, jokes, and non-intentional acts, are not treated as criminal

- Prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion in the provision of public services.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

Protect religious freedoms in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, provided those beliefs exist firmly within the framework of British law. We will not condone any faith position that is itself intolerant of the human rights of others (page 38)

We will establish a legal commission to draw up proposals to disband sharia councils. (page 35)

What UKIP said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

- (school inspections)

We will continue to monitor British values, but with a view towards combatting extremism and radicalisation, rather than criticising widely-held Judeo-Christian beliefs.

- Recognise that British values include tolerance of religion. UKIP is committed to protecting religious freedoms for all believers in the UK, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

- Uphold freedom of speech within the law as a fundamental British value. We believe all ideas and beliefs should be open to discussion and scrutiny and we will challenge the ‘culture of offence’ as it risks shutting down free speech

- Insist that those attending faith-based tribunals must be informed that they cannot be forced to attend and that the rulings from such hearings may not be legally binding under British law.

Northern Ireland

Alliance Party

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

Use the UK’s role in the Commonwealth to make progress on protecting the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBTI+ people.(page 15)

Continuing to argue that the UK should be a global leader and fully contribute to its international obligations to look after refugees and people fleeing persecution on the basis of political opinion, religion, sexual orientation and other grounds.(Page 15)

Continuing to support the offering sanctuary to refugees from the Syrian Civil War, including unaccompanied children, and ensure that refuge is hosted across the UK.(page 15)

Whilst we acknowledge that there are significant economic and social problems in Northern Ireland, we also realise that there are many people across the world who suffer from economic difficulties, environmental challenges, and social, cultural, religious and political oppression.(page 33)

Use the UK’s role in the Commonwealth to make progress on protecting the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBTI+ people. (page 34)

Continue to promote our unwavering commitment to freedom of, and from, religion across

the world and opposing discrimination on the basis of religion or belief. (page 34)

What the Alliance Party said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

- Whilst we acknowledge that there are significant economic and social problems in Northern Ireland, we also realise that there are many people across the world who suffer from economic difficulties, environmental challenges and social, cultural, religious and political oppression. As a society which is in a position to promote prosperity, sustainability and human rights abroad, we should have a strong and active policy of helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

- Continue to argue that the UK should fully contribute to its international obligations to look after refugees and people fleeing persecution on the basis of political opinion, religion, sexual orientation and other grounds.

- Continue to promote our unwavering commitment to freedom of, and from, religion across the world and opposing discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.

No commitments

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

What the Democratic Unionist Party said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

Supporting Persecuted Minorities

In the last Parliament, the DUP urged the government to take seriously international human rights abuses against Christians and other faith groups. We continue to be concerned about the persecution of religious minorities. We will continue to use our influence to ensure that this issue is taken seriously and that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office actively engage with the leadership of the countries in which these human rights violations occur.

No commitments

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

What the Social Democratic and Labour Party said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

We are proud to stand up for the rights of all in our society regardless of sex, race, ethnic or social origin, language, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Sinn Fein

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

 

What Sinn Fein said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

The Ulster Unionist Party manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

What the Ulster Unionist Party said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

 No commitments

Scotland

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

The SNP will always defend the system of international protection of refugees that provides a place of safety for those facing serious harm or persecution. (page 47) 

 

What the Scottish Nationalist Party said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

Wales

Plaid Cymru manifesto 2017

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

What Plaid Cymru said in their 2015 manifesto

Persecution of ChristiansDiscrimination against Christians

No commitments

No commitments

Note on criteria for inclusion. The basic criteria for inclusion is parties who had one or more MPs elected to parliament in the 2015-17 parliament.

Any manifesto references to Christians are automatically included, while broader references to issues such as religious equality are also included, references to refugee policy are included where it is reasonable to suppose that these could positively affect persecuted Christians.