Mar 15, 2011 / 12:22 pm
The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland has accused the U.K. of adopting an “anti-Christian foreign policy,” after the government announced it would double foreign aid to Pakistan without setting any conditions to help the Islamic country's endangered religious minorities.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the Archbishop of Edinburgh, said on March 15 that U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague should “obtain guarantees from foreign governments before they are given aid,” ensuring that Christians and other religious minorities in countries like Pakistan would not be deprived of their basic religious rights.
The cardinal made his remarks at the Glasgow launch of a new report on religious persecution, compiled by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. Their report “Persecuted and Forgotten?” shows that 75 percent of all worldwide anti-religious activity is now directed against Christians.
These “shocking and saddening” figures, the cardinal said, should prompt a reconsideration of how the U.K. distributes foreign aid. Currently, however, no such conditions will accompany the country's latest contribution of 445 million pounds (over $700 million).