I was pleased to attend the parliamentary launch of Open Doors World Watch List.
Over 100 MPs were in attendance to hear the latest statistics, updates and first-hand stories about the persecution facing 365 million Christians and other faith followers across the world.
The event stressed the importance of uniting together to defend and promote freedom of religion or belief.
The violence from Islamic extremists, such as Boko Haram, ISWAP and Fulani militants, has spread like wildfire across sub-Saharan Africa.
This year’s research suggests that – under the cover of chaos – the violence against the innocent, based on their religious belief (or lack of) has intensified.
An important question was raised: why should practising one's faith come at such a high and unjust cost?
Faith and religion may not be as simple as a choice: it can be the foundation of a community, the glue of a society, the basis of an ethnicity, and the freedom of humanity.
The World Watch List paints a grim picture but with cooperation and action, there can be hope.