Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions

On 22 July, Graeme asked the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hugo Swire MP, the following parliamentary question:

Graeme Morrice MP: What recent discussions he has had with his overseas counterparts on upholding freedom of religion and belief. [904985]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hugo Swire MP: We remain deeply concerned about a disturbing and unwelcome trend of persecution on the basis of religion or belief. Regrettably, this is not confined to a single region nor to a single faith, but we counteract it wherever we can. This has included recent work from Sudan to Nigeria, from Iraq to Burma, and from Pakistan to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Graeme Morrice MP: I thank the Minister for that answer, but in Egypt Coptic and Orthodox churches are being attacked, in Mosul in Iraq Christians have been driven out by ISIS, Muslims in Burma are facing violence from mobs and Christians in Pakistan face persecution from the state. Is it not time that the international community, led by this UK Government, took more action on this growing crisis?

Mr Swire: The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight these terrible things. Some hon. Members will have seen the reports in The Times this morning about ISIS in Iraq, and they are truly troubling. We continue to work through the United Nations to ensure that states implement Human Rights Council resolution 16/18, which focuses on combating religious intolerance, protecting the human