Govt to implement nationwide Religious Harmony, Awareness Project
The government will implement a nationwide "Religious Harmony and Awareness Project" through education and cultural activism involving women, youth, civil society, community, and faith leaders to promote a culture of peace, tolerance, and inclusiveness.
State Minister for Religious Affairs, Mohammed Faridul Haque Khan, said this at the 2022 International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, hosted by the UK government in London from 5-6 July, according to a statement of the Bangladesh High Commission in UK yesterday.
The conference brought together faith and belief leaders, governments, parliamentarians, and civil society organisations from 100 countries to take global action to promote freedom of religion or belief for all.
At the event, Faridul Haque Khan also highlighted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's zero-tolerance policy on discrimination or violence against religious minorities as he was delivering the country statement.
He said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman founded a democratic and secular people's republic in 1971, but the spirit was destroyed by the communal forces following the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975.
His daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina restored religious freedom in the constitution as the cornerstone of the country's secular identity and took various initiatives to ensure religious freedom.
Some of the activities of the current government include renovation and restoration of more than 2,300 Hindu temples, 65 major churches and establishments for Christian communities, and building of a Buddhist monastery at the birthplace of Gautam Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal, Faridul Haque said.
The government also constructed permanent offices for the Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian Welfare Trusts in Dhaka for the first time in Bangladesh, he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership in sheltering 1.1 million Rohingyas was praised as a unique example of protecting the highest number of religious minorities, he added.