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UK appoints special envoy on religious freedom

West Europe

UK appoints special envoy on religious freedom

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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon. Photo Credit: Twitter

A new champion for interfaith respect and international dialogue has been appointed by the UK Government. British peer, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon is currently a minister in the Foreign Office but has now been given the new role of Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

An announcement earlier this month said that Lord Ahmad will “promote the UK’s firm stance on religious tolerance abroad, helping to tackle discrimination in countries where minority faith groups face persecution.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said she looked forward to supporting Lord Ahmad in the new role working with “… governments across the world to raise understanding of religious persecution and what we can do to eliminate it.”

She added that she looked forward to supporting Lord Ahmad working with “… governments across the world to raise understanding of religious persecution and what we can do to eliminate it.”

In her strongest statement yet on religious freedom the Prime Minister declared:  “Religious discrimination blights the lives of millions of people across the globe and leads to conflict and instability.”

Speaking in a Foreign Office video released on Twitter, Lord Ahmad said, “The government believes freedom of religion and faith to be a priority. I particularly appeal to those democracies around the world … have a look at your constitutions, your origins of how your constitution came about, the freedoms and liberties that you extol and then ask yourself the simple question do you put it into practice?”

Speaking about violent attacks and killings of people of other faiths, Lord Ahmad said, “it is just not faith, it is totally contradictory to any faith … It is important that we hold to account those people who perpetrate these crimes.”