Freedom of Hindu Beliefs & Practices event ahead of ministerial conference

Freedom of Hindu Beliefs & Practices event ahead of ministerial conference
Courtesy: London FoRB Fringe

Britain’s Hindu community have united to organise the "Freedom of Hindu Beliefs & Practices" event in support of the international conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), set to take place in London on July 5.

As a significant contribution by the British Hindu community in terms of the objectives of the FoRB conference, the precursor event organised in Wembley Park area of London on June 22 is aimed at feeding into the main conference next month.

The UK government has encouraged communities to host such fringe events in support of this significant conference to talk about their concerns and how FoRB can assist with these concerns.

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This will be the first time at such a forum that the Hindu community will highlight the challenges and persecution faced by the community members, not only in the UK but elsewhere, said the organisers behind the event this week, including groups such as Hindu Council UK and Insight UK.

The Hindu community is perceived as a peaceful community as well as a major contributor to the economic, social and political life of nations. However, the Hindu communities have faced many challenges including extreme cases of persecution, violence and even annihilation in some countries in the world, they said.

People have been encouraged to participate in the precursor event and learn of these challenges facing the community and its members. Contributions of the community members to the discussions during and after the meeting is being encouraged as a coming together of diverse communities to make the world more harmonious.

Next month, the UK government’s conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) will bring together governments, parliamentarians, faith and belief representatives, and civil society to urge increased global action on freedom of religion or belief for all. The overarching themes of the conference will be preventing FoRB violations and abuses, and protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief.

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Promoting FoRB for all is one of the UK’s long-standing human rights priorities and is a key pillar of the Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. In February 2020, the UK became a co-founding member of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance. Since then, the group’s membership has grown from 27 to 35 countries, and we continue to strongly encourage other countries to join.

Meanwhile, charities, human rights NGOs, civil society groups, and organisations of all sizes and from different faiths and none are doing advocacy and educational work for freedom of religion or belief for all, all over the world. They are hosting events in London and around the UK in the lead-up to, and during, the conference, as part of a broad civil society programme surrounding the official ministerial conference.

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