News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Photo: Sang yun Lee
World News

Faith leaders gather to stop religious violence

by Hannah Tooley

A special two-day conference trying to promote respect began on Wednesday in London.

Faith leaders, security experts and NGOs said that inclusive societies, where people are free to worship, are key for a non-violent world.

They stressed that "freedom of religion or belief is a key human right," but admitted "it is a sensitive issue in many countries."

Baroness Anelay, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told Premier's News Hour leaders who rule using religion to divide people cannot continue.

She said: "It is going to be a long struggle for them but it's worth it.

"In this country, it has taken some centuries for us to reach the position we're now in where we have diverse and inclusive societies.

"So the pace of change can be different but we can support not only governments, but we can work with communities."

Faith leaders from different backgrounds came together to discuss how relationships can be strengthened and what practical steps can be taken to bring communities closer.

80 per cent of world describes itself as religious and the Baroness said: "Freedom of religion or belief itself and respect is usually a bellwether to see whether you have a secure society but all those countries around the world who are members of United Nations who signed up to Article 18 have already signed up for freedom of religion or belief.

"They need to keep to their promise."

Leaders also said that vulnerable people need to be lead down alternative paths to avoid them being tempted by religious violence.

Baroness Anelay said the British government can help stop recruitment to groups like Boko Haram and Islamic State by ensuring the communities on the ground have opportunities and education so they are able to have other options.

"We'll strengthen the communities to resist that in practical ways in which we can support communities so that young people grow up in a way that they're not going to be attracted into this perverted form of Islam - they're going to be able to grow up and respect difference," she said.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Baroness Anelay here:

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email