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Middle East: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 123003, tabled on 16 January 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations at the UN on the increase in persecution of Christians and other non-Muslim religions in the Middle East and steps to prevent such persecution.

Answered on

19 January 2018

​Her Majesty's Government consistently promotes and defends the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in a variety of ways, including at the United Nations. For example, we work to sustain UN Human Rights Council consensus on the adoption and implementation of the European Union sponsored Resolution on 'Freedom of Religion or Belief' and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation sponsored Resolution on 'Combating Religious Intolerance'. Furthermore, the FCO minister with direct 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 United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in September, 2017.

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. We also continue to support a number of projects to promote tolerance through the FCO's Magna Carta Fund, including a project to promote the teaching of religious tolerance in more than 50 secondary schools in Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco.

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