‘Defend religious freedom’, UK tells UN Human Rights Council

The UK has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to do more to defend freedom of religion and belief.

The International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said the UK was “deeply concerned” about levels of persecution and that UNHRC cooperation was “the best way to achieve real, positive impact”.

In January, the Government promised to adopt all recommendations from the Bishop of Truro’s review of global Christian persecution.


Ambassador French said: “We remain deeply concerned about global levels of intolerance, discrimination, and persecution of, and violence against, people because of their religion or belief”.

“Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief must be defended, and we believe that working together is the best way to achieve real, positive impact in guaranteeing the rights of all faith or belief communities around the world.”

She added that over the past nine months the UK has been working to implement the recommendations of the Truro Review.


The report called for sanctions on countries that persecute Christians and the introduction of mandatory religious literacy training for Foreign Office staff.

It concluded that the persecution of Christians is so extreme it amounts to genocide in some parts of the world.

The Government pledged to adopt the recommendations “in full”.

Also see:

Boris Johnson highlights Christian persecution in Christmas speech

Foreign Secretary to tackle global Christian persecution

World Watch List: 260 million Christians facing persecution

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