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Saudi Arabia: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL2397, tabled on 5 October 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, and in particular its commitment to freedom of religion or belief.

Answered on

13 October 2015

Saudi Arabia is a Foreign & Commonwealth Office priority country because of the human rights situation, particularly on the death penalty, access to justice, women’s rights, restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. The British Government strongly supports the right to freedom of religion or belief. Islamic law is strictly enforced in Saudi Arabia and the public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is illegal. The Saudi authorities do accept foreign workers privately practising religions other than Islam.

We believe that the key to increasing freedom in this area is to focus on tolerance. We have worked with Saudi Arabia to identify areas where different faiths could work together and foster trust.