Tom Elliott – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Tom Elliott on 2015-10-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure Saudi Arabia ceases its persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

Mr Tobias Ellwood

The British Government strongly supports the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The public practice in Saudi Arabia of any form of religion other than Islam is illegal, however, the Saudi authorities do accept foreign workers privately practising religions other than Islam. These restrictions on freedom of religion or belief reflect widely held conservative social values in Saudi society.

Our position on human rights in Saudi Arabia is a matter of public record. We have regularly made our views known, including through the UN Universal Periodic Review process and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s annual Human Rights and Democracy Report, in which Saudi Arabia continues to be a designated priority country. We raise our human rights concerns with the Saudi Arabian authorities using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels of communication.