The UK appoints a Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief

10 July 2018

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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon is the UK government's newly appointed Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief and will work “to promote interfaith respect and dialogue internationally”, according to the announcement on 4 July.

Lord Ahmad, who is also Foreign Office Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, is a moderate Muslim with a positive track record on human rights issues.

Lord Ahmed, Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion
Image source: Chris McAndrew
Lord Ahmad, Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion

The peer will “promote the UK’s firm stance on religious tolerance abroad, helping to tackle discrimination in countries where minority faith groups face persecution,” the government said.

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”.

Mrs May also highlighted that “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.” He added, “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?”

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United Kingdom