Ed Miliband's Easter message highlights persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq


Labour leader Ed Miliband has used his Easter message to express his concerns for the fate of persecuted Christians around the world.

The brief and to-the-point seasonal message of Miliband, an atheist, contrasts with the overtly Christian offerings from Conservative politicians such as David Cameron and Michael Gove.

Miliband says he is looking forward to sharing the weekend with his family in Doncaster, where he was MP for Doncaster North until Parliament was dissolved at the end of March.

"In the midst of the Easter celebrations our hearts goes out to those who face difficult times both overseas and closer to home. My thoughts are particularly with Christians in Syria, Iraq and other countries where the church suffers terrible persecution," he wrote.

Miliband cites statistics from the International Society for Human Rights which state that Christians are the victims of 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today.

"We must all do everything we can to speak out against this evil and work to alleviate the suffering of those who are persecuted simply for their creed," he says.

"But we don't need to travel far to find families facing fear and uncertainty. Over two million children are now living in poverty in the UK. I have admiration for those church members and Christian charities that provide support and hope to those in need."

Noting that over the Easter weekend millions of Christians will attend Easter services and events up and down the country, he acknowledges that through such gatherings, the church shares the story of the resurrection, and spreads the good news of Easter.

"In the months to come I hope that we will all stand up for justice, serve the most vulnerable and work to positively transform our communities together."