On 12th September Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Rehman Chisti MP as the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. In his new position, Chishti will bring together efforts across the UK Government, with faith actors and civil society to promote the religious tolerance abroad. The Special Envoy will continue to lead the implementation of the recommendations from the recent independent review into FCO support for persecuted Christians led by the Bishop of Truro. He will also advocate for the rights of all individuals here in the UK and around the world who are being discriminated against and persecuted for their faith or belief.
The Envoy role was previously held by FCO Minister Lord (Tariq) Ahmad who will continue to champion human rights in his Ministerial capacity. This appointment will therefore increase the number of people working on the issue of religious freedom across government. He was previously the Vice Chairman of the Conservative party covering faith and communities. He said,
“I am delighted to have been appointed as the PM’s Special Envoy. I have championed freedom of religion and beliefs for much of my life. I shall use the UK Government’s global network to take real action to support those persecuted for their faith or belief, and promote greater understanding and respect between faiths.
“As someone whose family came to the UK when I was six years old, and my father had taken up a role as an Imam, my family and I have always been able to openly and freely practise our faith. I want to ensure every citizen around the world is able to enjoy this basic right. Freedom of Religion, practice and belief is one of the foundations of a free society.”