To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress his Department is making on supporting religious leaders to promote community cohesion and reconciliation through its Conflict, Security and Stability Fund; in which countries religious leaders are being supported by that fund; and which religious communities those leaders represent.
13 February 2017
Through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) delivers projects to help prevent violent extremism, promote human rights, and support community peace-building in Africa, the Middle East, South and Central Asia and Eastern Europe. This includes working with religious leaders as well as other stakeholders. Separately, through the FCO's Magna Carta Fund, we fund various projects to support community cohesion and freedom of religion or belief across the world. Examples include: supporting human rights defenders in South Asia, promoting legal and social protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief in secondary school curricula in the Middle East and North Africa, and support for de-radicalisation and the re-integration of young people in Nigeria who have been exposed to violent extremist groups. In October 2016, the FCO hosted a groundbreaking conference to consider how protecting Freedom of Religion or Belief can help to combat violent extremism by building more inclusive societies. A range of faith leaders were invited to attend this event.