May Pledges More Action to Support Freedom of Religion

  • Uses pre-Easter reception to promise action over persecution
  • Tells religious leaders she’s giving up potato chips for Lent

Theresa May

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said her government is determined to do more to promote freedom of belief around the world as she spoke about growing up the daughter of a church minister and how it has affected her life.

At a pre-Easter reception for church leaders at her Downing Street residence, May joked she held the event the day before the start of the Lent period of fasting so guests planning to give up alcohol for 40 days would still be able to enjoy themselves. She said she would be abstaining from potato chips.

She went on to say that some of those present had urged her to do more for persecuted Christians around the world, and that she intends to act.

“We must reaffirm our determination to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practice their beliefs in peace and safety,” she said at the event on Tuesday. “And I hope to take further measures as a government to support this.”

May said she plans to continue her predecessor David Cameron’s practice of holding receptions for different faith groups.

As the daughter of a Church of England minister, “I know first-hand the many sacrifices involved and the hard work that so many of you do,” she said. “From the services and ministry in your churches to the comfort and guidance you provide to millions in our country at some of the most difficult moments in our lives.”

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