Skip to main content

Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 122916, tabled on 16 January 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to tackle faith-based persecution overseas; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

24 January 2018

The protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) is a priority of Her Majesty's Government's foreign policy and will continue to be so. In their interactions with foreign governments, Foreign and Commonwealth Office ministers and officials routinely raise individual cases and highlight practices and laws that discriminate against people on the basis of their religion or belief.

The United Kingdom also actively promotes FoRB through multilateral diplomacy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister with responsibility for human rights, Lord Ahmad, stressed the importance of working to defend the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) when he addressed the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017.

The FCO is also supporting a number of projects to promote tolerance through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy. Current projects include work to support human rights defenders in South and Central Asia.