In his first Christmas message as Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson has vowed to defend Christians around the world and discussed the “good that is to come” under his leadership and committed to tackling the persecution of Christians around the world.

In the Twitter post, Johnson acknowledged that Christmas Day is “first and foremost, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.”

“It is a day of inestimable importance to billions of Christians the world over,” he added.

“Today of all days I want us to remember those Christians around the world who are facing persecution. For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell. As prime minister, that’s something I want to change,” he said.

“We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and will defend your right to practice your faith.”

Johnson also thanked those working in public services on Christmas day, particularly members of the NHS and Armed Forces.

“As many of us are enjoying a break at this time of year, let’s not forget all those who have selflessly put their celebrations on hold,” he said.