Parliamentarians and senior religious leaders from 11 Commonwealth countries gathered at Lambeth Palace for two days of discussions on freedom of religion or belief.

The gathering was led by the Rt. Rev. Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, and ran parallel to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The Archbishop of Canterbury convened the event in partnership with Baroness Berridge, director of the Commonwealth Initiative on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

“The discussions at Lambeth Palace were attended by 40 senior religious leaders, parliamentarians, and academics from 11 Commonwealth countries,” said a statement issued from Lambeth Palace. “The theme was ‘Majority and minority in context.’”

Participants heard about the international legal framework for Freedom of Religion or Belief and the need for faith communities and governments to engage with it more consistently.

The meeting was held under the Chatham House rule, named after the international think tank. Under the rule, participants are able to report what they heard at the meeting, but not in a way that will indentify the source of that information.

Lambeth Palace said participants “noted that religious freedom is a deep tradition and rich heritage of the countries of the Commonwealth, but one that cannot be taken for granted.”

Adapted from ACNS

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