As members, friends, and observers of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance we honour August 22nd as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
Throughout the past year, we have worked collectively, publicly and privately, to address persecution on the grounds of religion or belief around the world while highlighting the impact of the rising tide of repression. Together, we have advocated for the release of numerous prisoners of conscience and supported communities facing discrimination.
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are looking towards another year of working to secure the “right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” for everyone. This right belongs to all individuals; it belongs to Christians, Muslims, Jews, Baha’is, Hindus, Buddhists, members of religious minority groups, to those who choose to leave a faith or not to believe, and it belongs to people fighting for peaceful access to worship spaces. It belongs to everyone, equally.
In the coming year, we will continue to press governments worldwide to end arbitrary detention or imprisonment, unjust charges, unfair trials, and unjust punishments based solely on an individual’s religion or belief. Our work will include highlighting ways religion can be misused in conflict and how government surveillance of religious communities’ activities can harm freedom of religion or belief. We will continue to work together to protect safe and secure access to worship spaces and heritage sites, while protecting individuals’ safety when they engage in community activities with members of their faith.
Together, we will make space for organizations and individuals to engage in interfaith and intercultural dialogues, to respect and protect the right to freedom of religion or belief, and to condemn any form of violence, persecution, and discrimination.
Signatories: Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kosova, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States