Religious leaders pray together ahead of FoRB government conference

Fiona Bruce, MP

His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, and the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, will host a prayer breakfast in London on Wednesday July 6 where Fiona Bruce MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of religion or belief, will deliver the opening address.

The Prayer Breakfast is part of the 2022 International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), when the UK government will host the human rights conference to spur increased global action on freedom of religion or belief. freedom of religion or belief for all. The prayer breakfast will bring together more than 100 delegates who will include ambassadors, special envoys for religious liberty and NGO representatives.

Archbishop Angaelos explains, “Violations against people of religion or belief are an indication of violations of many other human rights in the same context. It is now also understood that the issue is beyond the capacity of any individual, organisation, community or even This is why the UK Government’s Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief is so important.”

“I look forward to co-hosting another event with my dear friend Bishop Philip to which we invite key FoRB advocates, civil society actors, policy makers and religious leaders to further nurture the spirit of collaboration and cooperation for the many people around the world who need our collective voice and action.”

“It is a well-known fact that violations against persons of religion or belief are indicative of violations of many other human rights in the same context. It is also now understood that the issue is beyond the ability of any individual, organisation, community This is why the collaboration and cooperation that will be demonstrated at the forthcoming UK Government Ministerial Conference on Religious Freedom or Belief, and the relationships that will be forged to ensure continued work, will be essential to demonstrate the power of a collaborative and holistic approach to a global platform.We can no longer turn the other way.

“We can no longer fail to recognize the destructive nature of the persecution faced by millions of people around the world solely because of the faith they have or want to have, and what they choose to believe, or not to believe.

“Sitting in our silos is no longer an option and pretending not to see the suffering of others is no longer an option. It is time for us to see these violations as violations against the humanity we share. , and to aspire to collaborative action that leads to solutions.”

Bishop Mounstephen said: “I am delighted that the UK is hosting the next Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief. It seems particularly fitting that we are doing this almost exactly three years after the recommendations of the Truro Review have been accepted by her Majesty’s Government This conference provides the UK and other governments with the perfect opportunity to advance this vital global issue, recognizing that for so many religious communities around the world, the situation continues to s ‘aggravate.

“I am also delighted to welcome many friends and colleagues to the prayer breakfast which I am co-hosting with my dear friend Archbishop Angaelos. This will be an inclusive event for people of many traditions, but it is shaping up a sign that faith (and the right not to believe) is a crucial part of the identity of so many individuals and communities around the world and, as such, deserves to be protected and respected.”

Dr. Ewelina Ochab, Deputy Director of Refcemi, IBAHRI Program Advocate and Co-Founder of the Coalition for Genocide Response, said: “The Ministerial Meeting on Freedom of Religion or Belief is an important affirmation of our commitment to freedom of religion or belief. religion or belief for everyone everywhere. . It is an initiative in which everyone should be involved, in one way or another. During the Ministerial, we will hear from those who have been intimidated, harassed, persecuted because of their religious identity or belief. We will hear the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves because they have been arrested, detained, or worse, because of their religious identity or belief. We must use their messages and stories to work together towards change and a more prosperous future – for everyone, everyone, everywhere.”

MP Fiona Bruce, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, said: “I am delighted that the UK is hosting this international ministerial conference and, together with my colleague, Lord Tariq Ahmad, I look forward to host delegations in London. This will be the biggest human rights conference in the UK this year and represents an important opportunity to bring together governments, civil society, academics and representatives of faith-based organizations to agree on next steps. practices to promote and protect the right to freedom of religion or belief I look forward to two days of productive discussions and stand ready, as this year’s Chair of the International Alliance for Religious Freedom or Belief, to continue building consensus for action on this issue. »

Archbishop Angaelos is widely known and respected for his work to give a voice and a platform to those who are persecuted for their religion or beliefs. In 2019 he created Refcemi, the Coptic Orthodox Office for Advocacy and Public Policy. Refcemi is the Coptic word for advocate, and by working with affected communities, Refcemi listens, speaks and acts on their behalf. It organizes round tables, conferences and webinars with experts and concerned communities; to educate about the situation and provide a platform for the persecuted. It engages the UK Parliament, the UK government, other governments and international actors.

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