Religious persecution in countries across the world has been condemned by Scotland’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, at a meeting of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council held in Blantyre on 6 February.
Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council and former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said: "The Church of Scotland is very pleased to welcome Mr Yousaf to the World Mission Council.
"He knows already the church's enthusiastic commitment to the IF Campaign for the ending of world hunger. He knows already the church's care for Christians in Pakistan living in great fear of persecution. We will talk about these things. And we will listen to his hopes and plans for a more just and peaceful world.
"I am confident that, as a result of this meeting, the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Government will be able to work together on many issues that really matter."
Mr Yousaf said: “Religious prejudice in any form is not tolerated in Scotland. Religious minorities here enjoy the full protection of the law, strengthened through our tough new anti-sectarian legislation.
“I am concerned about countries where religious freedom does not enjoy the same protection. Persecuting people for their religious beliefs – whatever their faith – is utterly abhorrent and should be condemned in the strongest terms.
“Scotland is a good global citizen and we have a role to play in actively addressing the challenges being faced by the world. That is why I have previously expressed my concern about blasphemy laws being used unfairly to persecute Christians in Pakistan.
“As a Government Minister and a Muslim, I fully support the efforts of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council to end the oppression of religious minorities in Africa, Asia and elsewhere, and to promote positive interfaith relations across the world.”