The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief welcomes the creation of the United Nations’ International Day for Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
On May 28th, Poland, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United States of America proposed a resolution at the UN General Assembly which was adopted by consensus. This resolution designates 22 August as the official day that the UN will honour all those who have suffered violence due to their religion or belief.
The APPG welcomes the resolution and shares the serious concern it expresses about “acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief” and its strong condemnation of “continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals…on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief”.
The APPG welcomes the fact that the wording is inclusive of those with faith and those without, recognising that atheists, humanists and agnostics have also been victims of violence because of their beliefs.
The APPG strongly supports this long overdue international recognition of all the countless people around the world who have suffered, or will suffer, violence based on their religion or belief. We call on the countries of the United Nations to build upon this important step and take practical action to ensure that all people can enjoy their right to freedom of religion or belief.
EDM 2453 Tabled 05 June 2019
That this House welcomes the establishment by the UN General Assembly of the UN International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief on 22 August each year; is deeply concerned that acts of violence based on religion or belief are increasing all over the world and often flourish with impunity; notes the concerning findings of the interim report of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians; recognises the dire situation of religious minorities in many parts of the world; calls on the Government to mark the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief and use the initiative to develop and implement a comprehensive action plan, across Departments to address religious persecution whenever and wherever it occurs; and further calls on the Government to use all its diplomatic powers to combat religious persecution around the world and bring impunity for such atrocities to an end.