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His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has highlighted the need for action to uphold religious freedom.

Prince Charles made his remarks in a video address to Parliamentarians and Faith leaders at the launch of Aid to the Church in Need’s Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014 at the House of Lords on Tuesday 4th November 2014.

The entire report – a comprehensive study of the state of religious freedom for people of all faiths around the globe – and the Prince’s speech are available online at Full report

Report Editor, John Pontifex, said: “In the period under review, global religious freedom entered a period of serious decline and the report confirms media perceptions of a rising tide of persecution aimed at marginalised religious communities. The report we have produced indicates that many of those in authority – governments and religious leaders – have continually failed to stand up for religious freedom and hence it has become an orphaned right. Serial human rights abuses – from the threat of massacres in the Middle East and discrimination in the workplace in Western countries – are the direct result of religious freedom violations. As a Catholic organisation, it is our duty not simply to stand up for Christians suffering religious freedom violations, but for people of all faiths.”

Report Chairman, Peter Sefton-Williams says: “The clear lesson from this research is that the urgent call to reverse the violence and oppression directed towards religious minorities must come, first and foremost, from within religious communities themselves…. The necessity for all religious leaders to use their pulpits and the media to loudly proclaim their opposition to religiously-inspired violence, and to re-affirm their support for religious tolerance, is becoming – in the present climate – ever more urgent.”

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