The British government is deeply worried about the security of the Christian community in the Middle East, the foreign secretary said.
An opinion article published last week in The Daily Telegraph newspaper accused the British Foreign Office of viewing the plight of the Christian community in the Middle East as being "unworthy of diplomatic attention." British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the article added was seen as "unenthusiastic" about the issue.
The Foreign Office, in a statement issued by British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt, said attacks on Christians in the Middle East were "deeply worrying."
The Telegraph article paid special attention to violence targeting Iraqi Christians, one of the oldest Christian communities. The Christian population there is down substantially as its members flee violence targeting their minority religious community.
Islamist sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a Christmas Day attack on Christians in Nigeria.
"The persecution of Christians is a profound concern," said Burt. "We do not tolerate it and will continue to be active in working against it."
The Telegraph article notes that when challenged, ministers like Burt only speak out against violence targeting Christians "in general … but, seemingly, not so much that they'd do something like pick up the phone."