Skip to main content

South Asia: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 247144, tabled on 24 April 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the recent bombings in Sri Lanka, what steps the Government is taking to promote religious tolerance in (a) Sri Lanka and (b) throughout South Asia.

Answered on

2 May 2019

The UK is committed to supporting government and civil society efforts to improve human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, in Sri Lanka. We fund a range of projects in support of this through £8.3 million of Conflict, Stability and Security Fund funding. We support projects that promote interfaith dialogue and that increase awareness; encourage greater public debate and advocacy on issues concerning Fredom of Religon or Belief in Sri Lanka; and that counter the youth radicalisation in areas prone to inter-religious violence.

The Prime Minister is committed to 'stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practice their beliefs in peace and safety'. On 30 January the Foreign Secretary commissioned an external review examining the persecution of Christians in key countries around the world, including South Asia. It will provide an objective assessment of the impact and levels of FCO support, and make recommendations to the Foreign Secretary. The interim Report will be published early May, with the final Report in the summer.