Raising awareness and profile of international freedom of religion or belief as a human right among parliamentarians, government, media and the general public.
“In my role as chair of the all-party group on international freedom of religion or belief, I campaign on behalf of all who are persecuted, not just Christians, because I am a Christian and I believe that my God loves everyone. That is why I, and all hon. Members present, believe that it is our duty to speak out not only for those of Christian faith, but for people of any faith and of course, just as important, those who do not profess a faith at all.”
Jim Shannon MP House of Commons, March 2020
What is an all-party group?
An All-Party Parliamentary Group is made up of Parliamentarians (MPs and Members of the House of Lords) who share a particular interest in a subject and wish to co-ordinate their work around this issue. They are informal, cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament and are not accorded any powers or funding by it; they should not be confused with select committees, which are formal institutions of the House.
In 2012 a Speakers’ Working Group noted that these groups “are an effective way for Members of both Houses to inform themselves about specific subjects, to respond to outside concerns, and to have direct contact with external audiences”.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has clearly stated that the defence of freedom of religion or belief worldwide is a priority for its work. Thus the issue of international freedom of religion or belief is very firmly on the Parliamentary agenda, and Parliamentarians have significant opportunities to support and advance this right.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Freedom of Religion or Belief was established in July 2012 with the following purpose:
“To raise awareness and profile of international freedom of religion or belief as a human right amongst parliamentarians, media, government and the general public in the UK; and to increase effectiveness and awareness of the UK’s contribution to international institutions charged with enforcing this human right.”
The APPG held its 2021 AGM on 24 February 2021: Minutes
The APPG held its inaugural meeting on 5 February 2020: Minutes
The APPG held an EGM on 11 November 2020: Minutes
The APPG held its 2018 AGM on 24 October 2018: Minutes
The APPG held its 2017 AGM on 18 July 2017: Minutes
The APPG held its 2016 AGM on 24 May 2016: Minutes
View the APPG’s Income and Expenditure Statements: February 2020 – February 2021; July 2019 to November 2019; July 2018 to July 2019; – the break-down of the income (monetary donations) is available upon request. The APPG pays the London Living Wage to its staff.