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21 January 2015

Press release

Archbishop of Canterbury to address persecution at launch of Religious Liberty Commission

Archbishop of Canterbury to address persecution at launch of Religious Liberty Commission

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to speak out about the increasing persecution of Christians around the world. The Most Reverend and Rt Hon Justin Welby will be launching the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC), a new partnership of organisations galvanised by the growing problem of religious cleansing and violent attacks against Christians.

The RLC is a commission of the Evangelical Alliance, comprising the Alliance, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors UK and Release International.

These groups, which have been working to raise awareness of persecution issues worldwide for many years, will be collaborating under the banner 'One voice for the persecuted Church'.

RLC logoThe RLC launch will take place on Wednesday, 4 February 2015, in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Palace of Westminster. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Rt Hon Justin Welby, will be giving the keynote address and will be available afterwards, briefly, at a nearby venue to take questions.

The heads of the member organisations will also address the audience of senior church figures and parliamentarians from the UK and will also be available for interview later. They are expected to say:

"The level at which Christians around the world are being persecuted is increasing at an alarming rate. In the very birthplace of Christianity, the Middle East, the Christian faith is in danger of extinction. In more than 50 countries, discrimination, intimidation, violence or even killing is the price many pay for their faith. The situation is simply too important for the world to ignore."

The leaders of the RLC will go on to make several clear calls to action – to Christian leaders, church members and parliamentarians.

A victim of persecution in Eritrea, one of the world's most repressive regimes, will also describe the attacks against Christians in that country.

ENDS

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Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org