Due to the recent rise of violence against religious communities, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 22 August as International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief. The resolution is coming in a period of rising intolerance and hate crimes.
According to Poland’s Minister for foreign Affairs who introduced the draft, also on behalf of Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan and the US, the International Day will honor the forgotten victims and survivors, like those from the attacks on mosques in New Zealand, and Christians in Sri Lanka during Easter Sunday.
All delegates remembered the most tragic events: The loss of millions of lives in Syria’s fight against Al-Nusra Front, Islamic State and other terrorist groups, the ethnic cleansing done against the Rohingya in Myanmar and the Yazidis in Iraq, the detention in camps of Uyghur Muslims and ethnic Kazakhs in China’s Xingjian province, the recent horrific attack in Egypt, as well as the problem of Islamophobia in Iran that began slowly spreading around the globe, by taking other forms of religious bigotry.
The resolution does not relate to any specific religion or belief, but to all victims of violence, and strongly condemns continuing acts of terrorism based on religion. It seeks to raise awareness of the importance of respect for religious diversity, to inspire inter-religious, interfaith and intercultural dialogue, to emphasize freedom of expression, and organizations that promote tolerance, and to promote the culture of peace.