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Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL1930, tabled on 14 September 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding has been allocated from the Magna Carta fund for projects related to freedom of religion or belief.

Answered on

29 September 2016

In 2016/17, the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy is funding seven projects, with a total value of £670,037, that directly relate to strengthening freedom of religion or belief (FORB). This represents an 18% increase in funding from 2015/16, when the fund supported freedom of religion or belief projects worth £550,016. Freedom of religion or belief remains a core strand of the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy. Many of the Fund's other projects also indirectly support the creation of more tolerant societies, through strengthening representation of minority groups, supporting freedom of expression and promoting just and fair rules-based systems of government.

The seven FORB projects this year promote positive FORB outcomes through different methods and strategies, from attempting to working with NGOs to lobby for the removal of laws which discriminate on religious grounds, to more upstream interventions which seek to change public opinion and promote a culture which is more accepting of religious diversity. A good example of a hybrid of these methods is a project this year working with teachers across the MENA region to develop a school curriculum that supports freedom of religion and belief. This project promotes a more progressive education curriculum, and ensures the next generation of students have a greater awareness of the important right to freedom of religion or belief.