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Theresa May's first religious freedom envoy pledges to stand by persecuted believers

Thu 12 Jul 2018
By Alex Williams

The first ever Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief has promised to help ensure the United Kingdom stands with Christians and other group around the world who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Setting out his ambitions for the position, to which he was appointed last week, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon also said it was important to use international platforms including the United Nations to "call out" countries where are people for being ill-treated for their faith.

Speaking with Premier, he said: "It's... important that, where we continue to see those issues not being addressed, that we use various international forums, that we strengthen our work and voice with those persecuted minorities, to send a very clear message - both public and private - that we stand with them."

 

Lord Ahmad has also been tasked with championing dialogue and respect between different faith groups, as well as to work with faith groups and governments around the globe to explore solutions in places where problems persist.

Explaining how sit-down talks will form an important part of his work, Lord Admad continued: "British diplomacy has great strengths; it's based on the importance of sitting down in a collaborative and constructive way, through sharing experiences with other countries on how they can strengths their constitutions... their work with civil society... and [strengthen] faith institutions within their countries, as we do here...

"But, equally, there will be a time and place when I use the word[s] call out for example through international fora in areas such as the Human Right Council [at the UN] and other international bodies, that we specifically rise quite publicly the concerns and the discrimination and indeed persecution of religious minorities - and their exclusion."

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

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