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Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom in United Kingdom in 2016

In the absence of a written constitution, the law establishes the Church of England as England’s state church and the Church of Scotland as Scotland’s national church. The law prohibits “incitement to religious hatred” as well as discrimination on the grounds of religion. A judge sentenced two men, who he stated were influenced by a “bloodthirsty version of Islam,” to life in prison for plotting to kill soldiers, police officers, and civilians in an attack in London inspired by ISIS. The government introduced a national database of individuals governing schools after parents and teachers complained about Muslim infiltration of school boards in Birmingham. Politicians and political parties made anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim statements. The Labour Party completed an internal investigation and public report on anti-Semitism following reports that members were suspended by their party for anti-Semitic or racist remarks. On October 16, parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee released a cross-party report on anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom (UK), calling on political leaders to combat anti-Semitism. In April police forces in England and Wales began recording “Islamophobia” as a separate category of crime, as it did with anti-Semitic incidents. Following the June 23 vote to exit the European Union (Brexit), Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the “despicable” rise of hate crime incidents throughout the country. The Labour party’s Sadiq Khan became London’s first Muslim mayor.

This issue of Religious Freedom in United Kingdom

Governmental organizations reported an increase in religious hate crimes and incidents in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. In March a Sunni Muslim killed an Ahmadi Muslim shopkeeper outside the latter’s store in Glasgow. There were reports of numerous physical and verbal attacks against Muslim and Jewish community members. A university expelled a Christian graduate student after he expressed his opposition to gay marriage on social media because of his Christian beliefs. There were anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim protests, and vandalism of Jewish graves, mosques, and other religious sites.

Other Developments in 2016

In support of religious freedom objectives, embassy officials and the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom discussed religious intolerance and protection of minorities with members of parliament, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including the minister for human rights, religious leaders, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Embassy officials held an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the Church of England, and other religious groups about avenues to combat religious intolerance. Source: 2016 Report on International Religious Freedom, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, United States Department of State, 2017

Global and Comparative Religious Freedom



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(2020, 05). Religious Freedom lawi.org.uk Retrieved 12, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/religious-freedom/

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  • Article Name: Religious Freedom
  • Author: Sonny Morales
  • Description: Religious Freedom in United Kingdom in 2016 In the absence of a written constitution, the law establishes the Church of [...]

This entry was last updated: May 7, 2020

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