Prince Charles to give address on Religious Freedom

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His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will give a video address on the subject of religious freedom to Parliamentarians and representatives of different faith groups in the House of Lords next week. The address will be shown at the launch of the Religious Freedom in the World Report – 2014 report, at 3.30pm on Tuesday 4 November.

Produced by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the report is a comprehensive assessment of the state of religious freedom for all people of faith around the globe.

The Prince of Wales last spoke publicly about issues affecting persecuted Christians at a reception for Christians from the Middle East held at Clarence House last December. Now, almost a year later and by video message, His Royal Highness addresses the present-day issues of religious freedom specifically facing religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.

Also speaking at the event – to be held in the Attlee Room, House of Lords – will be Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, which has seen an upsurge of religious tensions and violence including the abduction of 276 schoolgirls by militants Boko Haram.

Other speakers present will include Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio (Papal Ambassador) to Great Britain.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, is also due to speak at the event. Dr Martin Stern, will also give his testimony as a survivor of the Holocaust, and will give his reflections on his experiences and their relevance to contemporary issues of religious freedom.

Covering the period autumn 2012 to summer 2014, the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014, compiled by in-country experts – journalists, academics and commentators – includes analysis on 196 nations; almost every country around the globe.

The report examines the degree to which nation states uphold the principle of religious freedom – as enshrined primarily in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – and the impact of destabilising extremist groups within society.

The full report – complete with continent analysis – will be made available only on the web.

In the UK, this will be accessed via a tablet-friendly microsite, which can be viewed at on the day of the launch.

A 32-page executive summary of the report, which will be available at the Parliamentary launch event, includes a map and a table identifying countries where persecution is worst.

The document, which includes a foreword by Paul Bhatti, brother of Shahbaz, murdered Pakistan Federal Minister for Minorities, also includes 10 case studies describing serious religious freedom abuses as well as several examples of good practice, in which different faith communities have worked towards cooperation and understanding.

On Tuesday, 4 November at 5pm, the video recording of The Prince of Wales’s speech will be available to view on: (select UK language version).

Independent Catholic News