UN Expert: Sweden must strengthen communication with faith communities to fight religious intolerance.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Nazila Ghanea, urged the Swedish government to strengthen communication and engagement with faith communities to tackle religious and belief intolerances. Sweden faces challenges nationally and internationally that stem from the repeated burnings of the Holy Qur’an.

“Vigilance is required regarding religious or belief intolerance and discrimination within society. Societal harassment, discrimination and threats must not go undercover,” Ghanea said in a statement before the end of her 10-day trip to the country. 

While visiting Sweden, the Special Rapporteur not only met with various government officials, such as members of parliament, but also civil society organizations, police authorities, representatives of religious communities and the Swedish Institute for Human Rights in Lund.  

She stated that Swedish authorities have started to realize that faith communities “can be part of the solution. Any outreach and dialogue provide ongoing channels for exchange, learning and trust building – it should not only be set up episodically after crises,” Ghanea stated. 

The Special Rapporteur will release her full report to the Human Rights Council in March 2024. 

The full press release can be found at the website of the OHCHR.