Bishop of Truro to head up new government forum for the advancement of religious freedom across the globe

Fri 10 Jul 2020

Premier Christian News reports:

A new Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) Forum has been set up following a landmark report into global Christian persecution by the Bishop of Truro last year.

Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro will chair the new initiative after the government accepted his findings and recommendation that the UK must become “the global leader in championing freedom of religion and belief [FoRB]”. 

In an announcement, the government said it was commissioning the UK FoRB Forum “to ensure that the UK plays a leading role in global efforts to advance religious freedom or belief around the world”. The Forum is due to be launched in September and will work to raise awareness of religious intolerance and discrimination across the globe. 

Bishop Philip said on Thursday: “In one of his first speeches to the House of Commons on the slave trade, William Wilberforce said this: ‘You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.’ My hope is that the UK Freedom of Religion or Belief Forum will enable us all to look steadily at this egregious problem of our time, not to let it be overlooked, and together to face it down.”

The group, which will comprise of representation from civil-society organisations, NGOs, academic organisations, and the Government, will seek to inform the government on policy-making in relation to the protection of religious expression and belief make recommendations for action. It will also liaise closely with the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on FoRB, Rehman Chishti MP, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FoRB in order to hold the government to account for the implementation of Bishop Mountstephen’s recommendations.

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