Written question HL706: The Lord Bishop of Southwark 11-07-2017

Asked on: 11 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking in Iraq and Syria to discharge the responsibility set out by Mark Field MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on 4 July (HC Deb Col. 21WH) for "protecting and upholding the rights of Christian communities across the globe."
A
Answered on: 25 July 2017

In Syria we are providing a range of support, including to the moderate opposition, to help save lives, bolster civil society, counter extremism, promote human rights and accountability, and lay the foundations for a more peaceful future. To date, this amounts to over £120 million, with a further £30 million to bolster regional stability.

In Iraq we are promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief for all religious communities. We urge the Government of Iraq at senior levels to uphold the rights of all minorities. In addition, we support projects on community dialogue with civil society and faith groups. For example, through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Magna Carta Fund, we have contributed £163,000 to support a project across several countries in the Middle East, including Iraq, to promote legal and social protection for freedom of religion or belief. This project aims to prevent intolerance and violence towards religious communities by inspiring leaders in Iraqi society to defend freedom of religion or belief.

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