||<p>The UK remains concerned by continued issues related to religious freedom in Iraq
but welcomes signs that Iraq's new leadership is actively promoting respect for religious
minorities. For example, the Vatican Secretary of State made an official visit to
Iraq in December, and the Iraqi Prime Minister's new Cabinet declared Christmas Day
an official holiday for all Iraqis, not just Christians.</p><p>The UK is committed
to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief across Iraq.
We regularly underline this to Iraqi political leaders, emphasising that this right
is critical to building an inclusive, stable and tolerant country. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
reinforced this message with the new Iraqi Foreign Minister Al-Hakim in December 2018.
As part of our efforts, we are also funding a project to pilot a new curriculum on
freedom of religion or belief in secondary schools in Iraq.</p>