Religious Freedom

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 9th July 2014.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what contact his officials have had with the European Parliament Working Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief in the last 12 months.

Photo of Stephen Williams Stephen Williams The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

My Department’s Integration Team has not had any contact with the European Parliament Working Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, although we recognise the important role of the Group in raising awareness about the issue. My right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Warsi, the Senior Minister for Faith and Communities, who is also a Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has made Freedom of Religion or Belief a priority and the government works in multilateral fora to ensure that it is afforded the international legal protection that it deserves. My right hon. and noble Friend has also convened meetings of international leaders to generate practical steps to promote freedom of religion or belief and to fight religious intolerance within our societies. In the UK she chairs a Sub Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, made up of human rights advocates, academics and civil society leaders, ensuring that government takes a well informed and inclusive approach to promoting and protecting this human right.

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