The founder of Christian Solidarity Worldwide has been elected as the new president of the UK Freedom of Religion or Belief Forum (UKFF).
Mervyn Thomas succeeds the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, in the role.
“I would like to thank the Bishop of Truro for his tremendous accomplishments over the past year in setting up and leading the UK FoRB Forum, and I am incredibly honored to have been chosen to succeed him,” said Thomas.
The UK ForRB Forum brings together more than 70 civil society groups, faith-based organizations and human rights NGOs.
Together, they work to advance the cause of freedom of religion or belief around the world.
It holds regular meetings with stakeholders attended by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and other government officials and parliamentarians concerned about these issues.
Prior to his appointment as chair, Mr. Thomas was a member of the forum’s steering group.
He has extensive experience in matters of freedom of religion or belief around the world, having founded CSW over 40 years ago.
He is also a member of the UK Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Group and works closely with the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for FoRB.
He has testified at hearings in the British Parliament, the European Parliament, the US Congress and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In the list of New Year’s honors 2019, he was named Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) in recognition of his services to human rights and freedom of religion or belief.
Mr. Thomas added: “Restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief persist across the world, with religious and belief communities in different countries facing varying challenges, from state actors and not. states.
“I look forward to working closely with UKFF stakeholders and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy as we continue our efforts to make this important right a reality for all.”