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Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 116480, tabled on 17 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department will publish written strategies to guide its work on promoting freedom of religion or belief in Nigeria, India, China, Eritrea and Pakistan.

Answered on

24 November 2020

The UK is committed to defending Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. We remain deeply concerned about violations and abuses of FoRB in many parts of the world and promoting the right to FoRB is one of the UK's human rights policy priorities.

At a country level, we lobby governments for changes in laws and practices that discriminate against individuals on the basis of their religion or belief, and we continue to raise cases of concern. We also support a number of development programmes that promote FoRB for all. The strategies employed may vary from country to country, and lobbying is often one of several activities which can be very sensitive. We have no plans to publish written strategies as we assess that doing so could undermine the effectiveness of our work on this sensitive area.