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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Religious Freedom "Article 18: an orphaned right"

Great to attend the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Freedom today at the House of Lords and to receive their first report "Article 18: an orphaned right".

The report highlights the increasing frequency of attacks and discrimination against minorities because of their religion or belief..

It was a surprisingly large audience for an 8.30am start and very diverse. Lots of opportunities to talk. Among issues raised in personal discussions were the plight of Christian and other minorities in Iran - including the prospects raised by the recent Presidential Election - and the "extremist" elements of South Asian Buddhism (as highlighted in the cover story of this week's "Time" magazine).

It was pleasing to hear that the group is committed to supporting all minorities, and not simply advocate on behalf of Christian groups, and is also concerned about people holding non-faith views who also face attacks and discrimination. Good to talk to Andrew Copson from the British Humanist Association and Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society.

I am arranging to meet the Secretariat of the Group early in July to see how we can work together and hopefully involve the International Association of Religious Freedom.

I also took the opportunity to pop out onto the terrace and enjoy the view of the Thames!
Derek on the Terrace


  1. A prominent Burmese monk Sitagu Sayadaw has questioned the coincidence of religious riots while there were peace talks between the government and ethnic groups.Wild exaggeration is the main cause behind the destruction of peace and unity he said.He urged monks to be patient, forgiving, and united in accord with the Buddha's teaching at a ceremony at Aung Sann Tet monastery He condemned the cover story in Time magazine's July issue.

  2. Thank you for this comment; the peaceful acts of the vast majority of all faiths are of course never front page news.