The founder of Christian Solidarity Worldwide has been elected as the new Chair 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 achievements over the past year, in setting up and leading the UK FoRB Forum, and am incredibly honoured to have been selected to succeed him," Mr Thomas said.
The UK FoRB Forum brings together over 70 civil society groups, faith or belief organisations, and human rights NGOs.
Together they are working to advance the cause of freedom of religion or belief around the world.
It holds regular stakeholder meetings attended by the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and other government and parliamentary officials concerned about these issues.
Prior to his appointment as Chair, Mr Thomas served as a member of the forum's Steering Group.
He has extensive experience in issues of freedom of religion or belief worldwide, having founded CSW over 40 years ago.
He also serves as a member of the British Foreign Secretary's Human Rights Advisory Group and works closely with the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for FoRB.
He has testified in hearings at the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the US Congress and the UN Human Rights Council.
In the 2019 New Year Honours List, he was appointed a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St 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, either from state or non-state actors.
"I look forward to working closely with the UKFF stakeholders, and the Prime Minister's Special Envoy as we continue our efforts towards ensuring this important right becomes a reality for all."