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Iraq: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL549, tabled on 16 June 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their most recent assessment of freedom of religion or belief in Iraq and what assessment they have made of the steps taken by the government of Iraq to protect this human right.

Answered on

25 June 2015

We firmly believe in the importance of freedom of religion or belief. The persecution of individuals of all faiths, anywhere in the world, is of profound concern to us. The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is seeking to stoke sectarian conflict across the Middle East and has launched a campaign of violence and terror in Iraq and carried out appalling atrocities against people from all communities.

We welcome the commitments that Prime Minister al-Abadi has made to inclusivity, to protecting Iraqi citizens, addressing human rights abuses and holding those responsible to account.

In 2015/16, the recently launched Conflict, Security and Stability Fund will provide funding for a number of projects in Iraq. One key strand of this work will focus on community cohesion, encouraging reconciliation and promoting acceptance and tolerance between communities at a grass roots level. We continue to encourage influential religious leaders in Iraq to speak out publicly and condemn sectarian violence.