ACN urges UN to establish platform to monitor persecution of beliefs
August 22 has been officially recognized by the United Nations as the International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. This is the result of a resolution approved by the United Nations General Assembly on May 28, 2019.
ACN now recommends that the UN set up a dedicated platform to allow representatives of persecuted groups or the NGOs they work with to get involved and provide immediate real-time information on the emergence and evolution of certain situations and challenges.
These case studies would serve as a basis for identifying patterns of persecution, who commits these types of atrocities, how they operate and by whom they are funded. This would make it possible to develop a tailor-made action plan to prevent such acts in the future, or even to prevent such acts from escalating into mass atrocities, such as genocide, as is happening today in Africa and in Asia. The ultimate goal is that there will be no more acts of religious persecution in the future.
For nearly 75 years, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) – an international Catholic Pontifical charitable foundation – has been providing concrete assistance to Christians victims of discrimination and / or persecution.
ACN hailed the 2019 resolution as a first step in bringing more attention to the tragedy of religious persecution, especially in the face of violence against Christians. To date, Christians are the largest religious group facing most persecution.
On a daily basis, ACN collects information about this tragic reality. This is further confirmed by research in international reports on religious freedom, such as those published by the Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Pew Research Center and ACN itself. All continue to see an unprecedented increase in violence against people of almost all religions, on all continents – but Christians are the ones facing the greatest persecution.
Stephen Axisa, ACN Country Director (Malta), said: âEvery day here in Malta we continue to raise awareness of the plight of persecuted and oppressed Christians around the world through social media and other channels. We want to support them in strengthening their faith. Despite these tragic situations, they continue to live their faith.
Thanks to the generosity of ACN’s benefactors around the world, more than 5,000 projects in approximately 140 countries are funded each year. These projects also serve to show Christians that they are not alone.
As much financial support is necessary, so too is the knowledge of the suffering of Christians. In this way, their advocacy can reach the policy makers who can act to change things for the better, so that serious abuses start to subside until they become history.
More information is available at www.acnmalta.org.
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