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Religious Freedom

Volume 703: debated on Monday 14 July 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they last drew to the attention of other Governments Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning the right to religious conversion; and which Governments these were. [HL4471]

The Government condemn all instances of violence and discrimination against individuals and groups because of their faith or belief, wherever they happen or whatever the religion of the individual or group concerned. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials regularly discuss human rights issues with other Governments, including on issues of religious freedom and religious conversion, bilaterally and through international organisations. We have raised individual cases bilaterally and with our EU partners recently in Jordan, Egypt, Iran and Indonesia.

FCO officials recently discussed the issue of persecution on the grounds of apostasy with Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Our officials met with Ziya Meral from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, author of the report No Place like Home, on 30 May and 24 June. Christian Solidarity Worldwide has agreed to keep the FCO informed of instances where apostates have suffered human rights abuses.