Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed a commitment given by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to continue making the promotion of Religious Freedom and Practice a cornerstone of Irish Foreign policy. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he, along with Deputies Michael Collins, Noel Grealish and Kevin O’Keeffe raised the issue of Christian persecution in the Middle East during a Dáil Topical Issue debate yesterday:
“We have been attempting for some time to have the Dáil issue an explicit Motion condemning the persecution and genocide of the Christian community in the Middle East.
Those efforts will continue.
Yesterday’s debate however, was a brief opportunity to highlight not just the obvious humanitarian disaster that this persecution represents, but also the serious geo-political consequences that are arising from the destabilisation of the Middle East thanks in part to the actions of Daesh.
I and my colleagues made the point that over 334 million Christians are persecuted and discriminated against because of their religion and that Islamist extremism is the main threat not just for Christians, but also for members of other minority religious and non-religious groups.
While I salute the sincerity of Minister Flanagan in addressing this issue, I am calling for more explicit and public condemnations from the Dáil as a whole.
We should follow the example of the US Congress and the UK Parliament and denounce in the strongest possible terms the savage barbarity that continues to destroy the lives of millions of Christians the world over,” concluded Deputy McGrath.