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As we mark the fourth annual International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, we recall that countless individuals have been killed, harmed, imprisoned, threatened, and harassed because of their beliefs.  We honor the sacrifice and price paid by too many to follow their conscience or advocate for others to do the same, and we stand with the persecuted and recognize our shared humanity and collective commitment to the right of freedom of religion or belief.  It also underscores the importance of protecting these rights for everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us.  Any failure to ensure the right to freedom of religion or belief for one threatens the enjoyment of this right for all.

May this day offer assurance to those suffering for their beliefs that the United States and likeminded partners have not forgotten or forsaken you.  We see you, we hear you, and we remain unwavering in our commitment to ensure your freedom, protection, and peaceful exercise of your beliefs.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future