We firmly believe in the importance of freedom of religion or belief. The persecution of individuals of all faiths, anywhere in the world, is of profound concern to us. The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is seeking to stoke sectarian conflict across the Middle East and has launched a campaign of violence and terror in Iraq and carried out appalling atrocities against people from all communities.
We welcome the commitments that Prime Minister al-Abadi has made to inclusivity, to protecting Iraqi citizens, addressing human rights abuses and holding those responsible to account.
In 2015/16, the recently launched Conflict, Security and Stability Fund will provide funding for a number of projects in Iraq. One key strand of this work will focus on community cohesion, encouraging reconciliation and promoting acceptance and tolerance between communities at a grass roots level. We continue to encourage influential religious leaders in Iraq to speak out publicly and condemn sectarian violence.