Chief Rabbi Mirvis among the participants at religious freedom conference
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Chief Rabbi Mirvis among the participants at religious freedom conference

International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief takes place in London next week, with Liz Truss joining 500 delegates.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will be among the speakers at the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, taking place in London next week.

The two-day long conference, taking place in central London, will be attended by over 500 delegates from across the world including faith and belief leaders, government delegations and civil society representatives.

Other participants, alongside Rabbi Mirvis include the Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Islamic Scholar Sheikh Abdallah Bin-bayyah, and Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean Catholic church in Erbil, Iraq.

Public relations expert Shimon Cohen has also been invited to appear, representing both Shechita UK and the Conference of European Rabbis, as their advocacy lead on protecting religious freedoms.

Lord Ahmad, Minister for South Asia, North Africa, the United Nations and the Commonwealth, said:“I’m delighted that the UK, and the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in particular, are hosting the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in London next week.

“Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’. Put simply, Freedom of Religion or Belief – or FoRB for short – is a right for everyone, everywhere.

“However, in practice too many people around the world are unable to choose their religion or belief, how they practice it, or to change that belief if they so wish. It is vital that the international community comes together and does everything it can to safeguard this right.

“It will be an incredibly diverse gathering, reflecting interest from across the religion and belief spectrum, government and civil society in this important issue.

“I look forward to discussing how we can best prevent persecution and protect and promote individuals’ right to freedom of religion or belief.”

The conference is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, near to Parliament Square in Westminster on July 5th-6th.

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