Faith and a Future report launch at Speaker’s House

On 27 February we launched our new report in Parliament. 27 MPs and peers from all parties gathered to hear how children across the world are missing out on an education, or are discriminated against at school because of their faith.

Faith and a Future: Discrimination on the Basis of Religion or Belief in Education explores violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in educational settings in five countries – Burma, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan.

During the event, MPs heard Cecil Chaudhry Jr, Executive Director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (Pakistan) share his personal experiences of religious discrimination in education and how religious intolerance in Pakistan is facilitated by curricula that fuel prejudice.

“This intolerance has threatened the entire social fabric of our nation, and we have to begin by improving and truly addressing the biased education system, policies and practices prevalent in Pakistan,” he said.

Other speakers included James Mohajer from the UK Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs, who spoke about the plight of the Baha’i community in Iran, which is often referred to as ‘cradle to grave’ persecution: “Baha’i children do not have an inalienable right to education.”

Jim Shannon MP (DUP), co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Religious Freedom, urged parliamentarians to advance the report’s recommendations.

“Now we have such a substantial piece of research laying out the volume and severity of violations … we must not simply shake our heads and say ‘how terrible’, then do nothing. We must act.”

We’re grateful to the many MPs and parliamentarians who have expressed concern for this issue and pledged to help us work to end religious discrimination in schools.