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Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:08 pm on 29th May 2012.

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Photo of Lord Rana Lord Rana Crossbench 12:08 pm, 29th May 2012

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, for this debate. In many instances where there has been conflict the root of the problem can be religion intertwined with politics. This was true of Northern Ireland, where I lived through the Troubles and saw at first hand how this can and does affect the lives of people caught up in the divide. However, I have also seen changes and how people from different faiths are now recognising the need for dialogue, peace and harmony. The Good Friday agreement and the St Andrews agreement have achieved understanding and peace. The power-sharing arrangement is a good model of people coming together and working for peace. Northern Ireland has been transformed as a place to live and to practise faith with tolerance and in harmony.

Her Majesty's royal visit to Dublin last year was a pivotal moment, bringing a message of good will for all communities working as one. It brought people together and went a long way to healing age-old differences. During her Majesty's reign she has reinforced the message of peace, harmony and hope to communities across the world.