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Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

Statement on Religious Freedom Repression by Non-State Actors, including Terrorist Groups

As representatives of the international community, we stand together in condemning the systematic, ongoing, and egregious abuses of religious freedom perpetrated by terrorist and violent extremist groups, and we support international efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. We stand in solidarity with the victims of terrorism and call on authorities to pursue justice and accountability consistent with relevant international law. We commit ourselves to continuing to support religious groups and other communities that have been subject to terrorist violence and to moving swiftly to hold terrorists accountable for their crimes.

Underscoring that violent extremism that leads to terrorism is not limited to any one nationality, culture, region, level of economic development, or civilization, we urge all governing authorities to govern inclusively and with respect for equality under the law, without regard to religious identity and without misusing the authorities of the state – including counterterrorism laws and the state security apparatus – to perpetrate repression of religious or other groups. We urge civil society and faith leaders to come together and advocate for mutual understanding, respect for pluralism and tolerance, and recognition of universal human rights and human dignity, and we urge all governing authorities to permit and support such independent efforts.

Co-Signatories: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Djibouti, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Morocco, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future