To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle faith-based persecution in countries with a high level of such persecution.
2 March 2017
This Government remains firmly committed to the promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief in all countries. Through our bilateral work we lobby host governments to raise individual cases and highlight practices and laws that discriminate against people on the basis of their religion or belief. For example, the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson) raised the rights of all Pakistani citizens, including religious minorities, during his visit to Pakistan in November 2016. Multilaterally, we work to sustain consensus on the adoption and implementation of two important Resolutions: the European Union's resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)'s resolution on Combating Religious Intolerance. We also support a number of projects through the FCO's Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights. For example, we support a network of human rights defenders in South Asia working on this priority. In October 2016 the FCO hosted a groundbreaking international conference to draw attention to the importance of freedom of religion or belief to global efforts to counter violent extremism.