22 August 2021

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief - 22 August.

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.

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.

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.

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