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Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 4279, tabled on 25 June 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had in the G7 and the EU on steps to reduce threats to religious freedom in Africa and the Middle East.

Answered on

30 June 2015

The Government is fully committed to the promotion of freedom of religion or belief and will stand up for the freedom of people of all religions – and non-religious people – to practise their beliefs in peace and safety. The FCO Annual Human Rights Report outlines our position and activities.

My officials and I take every opportunity to discuss this critical issue with our European and G7 counterparts. At a global level we work through bodies such as the United Nations to encourage worldwide acceptance of the importance of freedom of religion or belief. At the 27 March UN debate on the persecution of minorities in the Middle East, I called for stronger leadership from governments and communities in the region to continue working for tolerance and reconciliation. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have also represented the UK at international discussions designed to promote closer EU/transatlantic co-operation regarding religion and its impact on global affairs.

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