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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 220608, tabled on 13 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he plans to take to encourage better protection of religious minorities in Egypt.

Answered on

20 January 2015

We deplore all discrimination against religious minorities and constraints on their freedom to practise their faith. Foreign Office Ministers have been clear with Egyptian interlocutors throughout recent events in Egypt that the freedom of religious belief needs to be protected and that the ability to worship in peace is a vital component of a democratic society. UK officials raised the importance of freedom of religion with Egyptian Deputy Assistant Minister for Human Rights, Dr Mahy Abdel Latif on 14 January 2015.

The UK Government welcomed the comments made by President al-Sisi at Al-Azhar University on 1 January and at the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on 6 January on his commitment to religious tolerance. We also welcome the protection for religious belief enshrined in the Egyptian constitution. We urge to Egyptian Government to ensure that those rights are implemented.