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On the day after Christmas, the British government launched a review of Christian persecution in “key countries” – especially in the Middle East, Asia and Africa – to seek ways the UK can help those who are suffering.

Christianity is on the “verge of extinction in its birthplace,” said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who ordered the report. “So often the persecution of Christians is a telling early warning sign of the persecution of every minority.”

Bishop Philip Mounstephen, the Anglican bishop of Truro, will lead the effort to uncover “the scale of the problem” and “offer ambitious policy recommendations” to the government. The report is scheduled to be completed by Easter.

A second report on Christian persecution conducted by the international monitoring group Open Doors confirmed that economic liberty and religious liberty are correlated. It named North Korea as the most repressive anti-Christian nation in the world. The worst offenders also have a low regard for property rights as measured by the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom Report, which ranks nations from one to 162.

The UK government, and all Christians, must recognize the inherent link between freedom of conscience and the right to own property in a free economy.