International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief
On August 22nd, International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief recognizes the importance of assisting victims of religious persecution.
When reading recent headlines, one can’t ignore that religious persecution is increasing. One in three people suffers from religious persecution. Of all the religions, Christians are the most persecuted. Christians face persecution in 143 countries. According to the BBC, Christian persecution in some countries is at near genocide levels. In Iraq, there are now less than 120,000 Christians. In comparison, in 2003, 1.5 million Christians lived in Iraq.
Worldwide, Muslims and Jews also face worldwide persecution. Muslims confront persecution in 140 countries, while Jews face persecution in 87 countries.
Many nations also place restrictions on those with certain beliefs. Countries with the most religious restrictions include China, Iran, Russia, Egypt, and Indonesia.
The Universal Declaration for Human Rights serves as the foundation for the UN’s stance on religious persecution and violence. Since freedom of religion or belief is essential to the Declaration, the UN strongly condemns the continuing acts of violence against religious groups. The UN’s position is another reason why they implemented International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
To commemorate this day the United Nations vows to reaffirm their unwavering support for the victims of violence based on religion and belief. They will demonstrate this support by doing everything in their power to prevent future attacks and hold those that are responsible accountable.
HOW TO OBSERVE
A great way to observe this day is to learn about different religions. If you have a friend or acquaintance with different beliefs, ask them questions. Find out more about why they believe what they do. Go to a service or event at a house or worship you normally wouldn’t attend. Donate to a local church, mosque, or synagogue. Pray for those of other faiths.
On May 28, 2019, the United Nations passed a resolution designating August 22 as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. The resolution passed shortly after the attacks on mosques in New Zealand and churches in Sri Lanka. Jacek Czaputowicz, Poland’s foreign minister, introduced the resolution. It passed with support from a handful of countries including the United States, Canada, Brazil, Iraq, Jordan, and Pakistan. These countries recognize the increasing amounts of violence against people of faith and want to do something about it.