Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad has been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The role will see the peer “promoting inter-faith respect and dialogue internationally,” with a particular focus on persecuted minorities.
A former vice-president of British Muslim youth organisation AMYA, Ahmad is a member of the Ahmadiyya community and previously held the role of Minister for Countering Extremism in the Home Office.
Theresa May said: “Religious discrimination blights the lives of millions across the globe and leads to conflict and instability. Both here and abroad, individuals are being denied the basic right of being able to practise their faith free of fear.
“Tolerance for those of different faiths is fundamental to our values, and is an issue I know is already of great importance to Lord Ahmad, who is constantly looking for fresh ways to promote religious liberty.”
Ahmad said: “In too many parts of the world, religious minorities are persecuted, discriminated against and treated as second class citizens. As a man of faith, I feel this very keenly.
“Freedom of Religion or Belief is a human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It must be respected. I shall use the Government’s global network to reach across religious divides.”
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