Speeches » There is no more persecuted, and yet more disregarded minority in the world than Christians
There is no more persecuted, and yet more disregarded minority in the world than Christians. Over 90 countries ban or restrict Christian belief, many of them in the Middle East.
For centuries, Christians have lived, worked and prayed in the Middle East.
Indeed, that region was the birth place of Christianity.
Yet since the collapse of secular leaders in the region, Islamists like ISIS have filled the vacuum with a toxic and intolerant campaign against Christians.
We have seen ancient churches and monasteries looted and converted to mosques.
In ISIS territory, Christian women and girls are sold in sex slave markets, whilst male Christians are forced to sign contracts that officially relegate them to second class status.
We also see the grotesque scenes of gay men and women being thrown of roof tops and kicked to death if they survive the fall.
The silence of so many LGBT groups on this issue is puzzling.
This hatred of gay men that is common in ISIS-style Islamic extremism is now spreading to my country, where gay men and women are frequently demonised in radical sermons.
Violent attacks on gay men and women are a serious concern, and totally unacceptable.
East London is particularly dangerous for gay men, and I hope whoever wins the London mayoral race, hopefully UKIP's Peter Whittle, himself a gay man, will make tackling this a priority.