New York City, N.Y., Aug 22, 2019 / 10:01 am
The United Nations General Assembly has designated Aug. 22 as the first-ever International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
"On this Day, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the victims of violence based on religion and belief. And we demonstrate that support by doing all in our power to prevent such attacks and demanding that those responsible are held accountable," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement.
The General Assembly condemned acts of violence against religious minorities and reiterated its support for the right to freedom of religion, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"Over the past few months, we have seen increasing numbers of attacks against individuals and groups targeted simply because of their religion or belief," Guterres said. "Jews have been murdered in synagogues, their gravestones defaced with swastikas; Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalized; Christians killed at prayer, their churches torched."