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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

UN declares special day to remember victims of violence against religion

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution establishing 22nd August as the Day to Commemorate Victims of Violence Based on Religion.

The resolution invites all member states, relevant organisations, civil society, individuals and the private sector to observe the international day and show appropriate support for victims of religiously motivated violence.

In the wake of recent religiously motivated terrorist attacks, the resolution notes a serious concern for “continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious communities and religious minorities around the world, and at the increasing number and intensity of such incidents.”

Poland initiated work toward the commemorative day, but united with Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, and the United States to co-draft the resolution.

Ultimately, 88 UN member states voted to co-sponsor the resolution.

“The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which is commonly referred to as the right to freedom of religion or belief, is a universal right of every human being and the cornerstone of many other rights,” Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz said in his keynote speech before the vote.

Picture: St Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi City, Philippines, is seen on 11th May 2019. Forces affiliated with Daesh attacked the cathedral two years ago. The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution establishing 22nd August as the Day to Commemorate Victims of Violence Based on Religion. (CNS photo/Eloisa Lopez, Reuters).