International Day of Remembrance of People Victims of Violence Due to Their Religion or Belief, August 22

Event on “Interfaith harmony: Implementing the transformative Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals” (co-organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Committee of Religious NGOs)

“On this day, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the victims of violence based on religion and belief, and show this support by doing everything in our power to prevent such attacks and by demanding that those responsible be called upon to respond. of their actions. “- António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Freedom of religion: a right
Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are human rights and are contained in articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They are all interdependent and reinforce each other.

Respect for these rights must be guaranteed and must serve as a basis in the fight against all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion.

An open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas within a society, as well as interreligious, interfaith and intercultural dialogues at local, national, regional and international levels, can play a positive role in the fight against hatred and incitement to religious violence.

In addition, the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information are essential in strengthening democracy and combating religious intolerance. .

Acts of violence based on religion or belief
Acts of violence based on religion or belief are now common, especially against persons belonging to religious minorities. The number and intensity of such incidents – often of a criminal nature – continues to grow and take on an international dimension.

This is the reason why the General Assembly, by its resolution A / RES / 73/296, proclaimed August 22 “International Day of Remembrance of Persons Victims of Violence because of Their Religion or Convictions”, in Strongly condemning the acts of violence and terrorism which continue to be committed against persons, in particular members of religious minorities, under the guise of or in the name of a religion or belief. It stresses the importance of taking comprehensive preventive action at the local level, involving a wide range of parties, including civil society and religious communities.

The Day is preceded by the International Day of Remembrance in Honor of the Victims of Terrorism, celebrated on August 21.