- Independent review calls for views on government’s engagement with faith groups
- Responses will inform review led by Faith Engagement Adviser
- Recommendations to be provided to government by summer 2021
An independent review is calling for views from people of all faiths on the effectiveness of government’s engagement with faith groups.
The responses to the call for evidence, will provide vital feedback from across England’s multi-faith society to inform the root-and-branch review by Faith Engagement Adviser, Colin Bloom. The call for evidence will close on Friday 11 December.
The review aims to examine how government can best celebrate the contribution of faith groups, break down barriers and promote acceptance between faiths, and promote shared values while also tackling cultures and practices that are harmful.
It will then provide recommendations to the Communities Secretary by summer 2021 on how government responds to each of these themes.
Faith and Communities Minister Lord Greenhalgh said:
Faith remains at the heart of public life and we fully support the invaluable work being done by people around the country who are inspired by their faith.
There has been no greater testament to this than people from all faiths coming together during the pandemic to support the most vulnerable – giving our elderly and isolated neighbours help and support.
We do not, however, take this for granted and the independent review will ensure that we are maintaining close and productive relationships with faith groups across the country of all traditions.
Colin Bloom, the government’s Faith Engagement Adviser, said:
England is a successful multi-faith society, and we have some of the strongest protections in the world to allow people to practise their faith or belief.
Through this independent review, I am looking to see if we can build on those foundations to ensure that government’s engagement with faith groups is as good as it can possibly be.
So that my recommendations will be based on hard evidence, I want to make sure we engage with the widest possible spectrum of society – those with a faith and those with no faith at all.
The call for evidence will pose a series of questions around how those of all faiths, or none, perceive the government’s engagement with faith organisations.
This will feature questions on whether places of worship and people of faith are a force for good in society, alongside how government can recognise and support their contribution to communities.
There will also be an opportunity for views on how best to break down barriers and promote acceptance between faith and belief groups, including those of no faith or belief, reviewing opportunities for cooperation between these organisations.
This is alongside steps government can take to promote freedom of religion, the values of freedom of speech, democracy, the rule of law and equality, while simultaneously tackling cultures and practices that are harmful.